b. in 1979 in Aalen, Germany
Nils Völker is a media artist based in Berlin whose creative path started with communication design and moved to the use of physical computing. His artistic practice embraces robotics, sensors, customized software and interactive computer technology, combined with a fascination for everyday objects and carefully selected fragile materials.
Völker realizes large-scale interactive sculptures and site-specific kinetic installations to investigate mechanical rhythm in prepared systems – such as wavelike animation – and create a conflict
between natural and unnatural phenomena. Incorporating sound and simple components such as plastic bags, computer cooling fans and lights, his minimalistic artworks carry poetic and emotional depth, constantly changing the setting of the exhibition space.
Since 2010 the artist has been working on a series of “choreographed breathing” installations – mostly consisting of a matrix of cushions of different size and material inflating and deflating in controlled rhythms – as a development of his highly acknowledged and widely exhibited piece One Hundred and Eight. The largest one, made from 252 silver cushions for the exhibition Capture (2012) in collaboration with Sven Völker, was followed by further site specific commissions for the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Gewerbemuseum Wintertur, MUDAC Lausanne, Kunstmuseum Celle, OÖ Kulturquartier, Linz and many others.
Other Völker’s works include 64 CCFL (2012), a site-specific installation consisting of cold cathode fluorescent lights regulated by a micro controller in combination with custom made electronics, and Fountains, his first public interactive artwork which belongs to the permanent collection of Xixi Wetland Park in Hangzhou, China. In February 2015 his solo exhibition has opened in the temporary art pavilion M0Bi in Groningen, (The Netherlands) showing the biggest installation yet by the artist. The work comprises 19 huge golden cushions of mylar foil hanging from the ceiling and creating mesmerizing and sizzling patterns in the exhibition space.