Warren Neidich performance at The Drawing Center in 2009.
Photograph by Chris Lee.
New York City
|Known for||Contemporary art|
Neidich’s diverse practice explores the interstitial spaces between art, culture, language, society, mind and the brain using a conceptual approach.
As an artist, curator, writer and teacher, his projects span film, choreography, performance, public art sculpture, fine art, and theoretical essays.
Without adhering to a specific visual motif or branded form of representation, Neidich’s multidisciplinary work investigates the evolving conditions of historical materialism, general intellect, Theory of Mind, and the ways in which art forms affect the development of the brain’s neuroarchitecture – a process Neidich refers to as Neuroaesthetics or Neurobiopolitics and more recently, Neuropower. 
Life and work
Warren Neidich graduated from Washington University in St. Louis where he studied photography, psychology, and biology. From 1985 to 1995 he worked on a number of projects investigating the relationship between power and representation, including the American Civil War studies The Battle of Chickamauga and Amputation without Anaesthesia exhibited at The Photographic Resource Center, Boston in 1991 and “American History Reinvented” (1986–1991) at Burden Gallery, Aperture Foundation, New York City, in 1989.
The series of altered photographs “Unknown Artist”, which recast the early 20th-century art coterie as a social rather than an individual phenomenon, were installed at Berlin’s Paris Bar in 1994 in collaboration with Martin Kippenberger. In 1994, Neidich’s photography-based sculptural installation Collective Memory/Collective Amnesia used the culturally-constructed story of Anne Frank to reflect upon pop culture’s vulgarization of history. Neidich’s slide show projection Beyond the Vanishing Point: Media Myth in America was shown at the N.Y. Kunsthalle, NYC in 1995. It traced a journey across America fifty years after Jack Kerouac, culminating in a photographic exposé of the media encampment that grew outside the courthouse during the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles.
In 1996 Neidich, began to explore the phenomenological conditions surrounding the cultural and historical aspects of his work. These research projects took the form of texts and lectures entitled “Neuroaesthetics”, first delivered at the School of Visual Arts in New York, 1995-1996 when Neidich was visiting lecturer in the Department of Photography and Related Media under Charles Traub. Soon after, he launched the platform artbrain.org , consisting of The Journal of Neuroaesthetics and Netspace Gallery. A platform was created in which painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers, and poets, using their own materials, processes, and apparatuses, might critically investigate issues of perception, memory, and consciousness in ways very different from neuroscience, psychology, and psychoanalysis—in many cases producing completely new paradigms through which to understand these phenomena. The post-Structuralist brain/mind/body/world complex in which cultural mutations are transposed into parallel changes in the mind, brain and body expressed, in pieces such as Brainwash and Re-cognition, developed greater tenacity in 1999 when Neidich curated “Conceptual Art as Neurobiological Praxis” at Thread Waxing Space in New York.
Over the last decade, Neidich’s work has further examined the co-evolution of the history of art, brain, and mind, which provides a critical foundation to his understanding of Neuroaesthetics as an ontologic process. The key to Neuroaesthetics is the investigation of apparatuses in which a network of heterogeneous discourses is administered. As the world and technology change, so to the apparatuses which organize it, and the cognitive strategies with which one can understand it. This is especially true of the information age, which distributes such apparatuses non-linearly and profusely. Neidich’s work is inspired by Michael Snow, Stan Brakhage, Jean-Luc Godard and the Apparatus Theory of Stephen Heath. Neidich’s videoworks from this period include Apparatus, Memorial Day, Kiss, and Law of Loci. The exhibitions “The Mutated Observer Part 1,” and “The Mutated Observer Part 2” at the California Museum of Photography in 2001 and 2002 showcased a number of handmade apparatuses, so-called “Hybrid Dialectics”, in vitrines adjacent to those of the museum’s collection.
Neidich was visiting artist and lecturer at Goldsmiths College, where he organized the first symposium on Neuroaesthetics in 2005. In 2008 he co-organized “Architecture in Mind: From Biopolitics to Noo politics,” at the Delft School of Design, Delft, Netherlands. Topics such as Neurobiopolitics were extended to include the political impact of immaterial labor and the information age on the production of architecture and built space, specifically in relation to the ways in which intense sensory and perceptual effect are now used to organize cultural attention. These ideas later evolved into a series of performative drawings staged in his studio at IASPIS  in Stockholm (2008) and at The Drawing Center, New York (2009). Most recently, Neidich organized the conference “The Power of Art” at The Drawing Center, New York.
Selected Solo Exhibitions Include:
Galerie Moriarty , Madrid (2009); Gallery Magnus Müller , Berlin (2008); Blanqui's Cosmology  Trolley Gallery, London Andrew Mummery Gallery, New York City (2006); Storefront for Art and Architecture , New York City (2002); Edward Mitterrand Gallery (2002); Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA (2001); California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA (2001); Villa Arson, Nice, France (1994); MIT List Visual Arts Center , Cambridge, MA (1991); Aperture Foundation, New York City (1989).
Selected Group Exhibitions Include:
The Drawing Center, New York City (2009); NBGK, Berlin (2007); Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2005); Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway (2004); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City (2001); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1996); PS1, MoMA, Long Island City, New York (1991); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (1991); Walker Museum of Art, Minneapolis, MN (1989); Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (1988); Queens Museum, Queens, New York (1988); White Columns, New York City (1988).
2004 Madrid Abierto Public Sculpture, Madrid, Spain
- Lost Between the Extensivity/Intensivity Exchange (Onomatopee, 2009)
- Earthling (Pointed Leaf Press, New York, NY, 2005).
- Blow-up: Photography, Cinema and the Brain (DAP/UCR/California Museum of Photography, 2003).
- Camp O.J. (Bayly Art Museum, 2001) (http://www.artbook.com/0970626304.html)
- Cultural Residue: Contamination and Decontamination (Villa Arson, Nice, France, 1994)
- Unknown Artist, Fricke and Schmid, 1994
- Historical in (Tervention) (MIT List Visual Arts Center, 2001).
- American History Reinvented (Aperture, 1989)
References and notes
- Art Neutre International , retrieved 2013-05-20
- Mark Gisbourne, Fields of Consciousness: The Ghost in the Machine, Photography & Culture Vol.5 Issue 1, March 2012, pp. 53–76.
- "The Inner Perspective of the Noologist's Mind", by Suzana Milevska, in Warren Neidich, The Noologist's Handbook and Other Art Experiments, Ed. Suzana Milevska, Archive Books, 2013, ISBN 9783943620085
- "From Noopower to Neuropower: How Mind Becomes Matter", by Warren Neidich, in Cognitive Architecture: From Bio-politics to Noo-politics, edited by Deborah Hauptmann and Warren Neidich, 010 Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010, ISBN 9789064507250.
- "Neurobiopolitics of Global Consciousness", Warren Neidich, in "Sarai Reader 06: Turbulence", 2006. pp. 222–236.
- Warren Neidich (1991), American History Reinvented, Slash Seconds, retrieved 2009-08-29
- John Welchman (September 14, 2001), Art after Appropriation: Essays on Art in the 1990s, Routledge, retrieved 2009-08-29
- Graham Clarke (May 8, 1997), The Photograph, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-284200-8, retrieved 2009-08-29
- Sue Spaid (May 20, 1999), Seeing Eye, The Village Voice, retrieved 2009-08-29
- Warren Neidich (May 20, 2005), Conference on Neuroaesthetics, Goldsmiths College, retrieved 2009-08-29
- Warren Neidich (October 31, 2008), Architecture and The Mind: from bio-politics to noo-politics, Delft School of Design, retrieved 2009-08-29
- B. Blagojevic (July 10, 2009), The Power of Art, ArtCat Zine, retrieved 2009-08-29
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Warren Neidich.|
- Warren Neidich Official website
- American History Reinvented
- Exhibition 211
- Lost Between the Extensivity/Intensivity Exchange Book
- Art in America Online Article about Exhibition 211
- The Rules of Engagement: Exhibition 211
- Power of Art Conference Review, Frieze Magazine, 2009