Nikolaus Gansterer

Nikolaus Gansterer Portrait
photo credit Loïc Thebaud


An artist and performer, Nikolaus Gansterer links drawing, thinking and action through a practice of performative visualisation and cartographic representations. Using a transmedial and transdisciplinary approach, he focuses on mapping processes of transience by developing experimental modes of notation and translation.

Gansterer’s work has been shown in numerous international exhibitions, including Con-notations, Villa Arson, Nice, France (2018); Lightness of Matter. Matter of Lightness, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna (2017); Urban Lights Ruhr, Glaskasten Museum, Marl, Germany (2017); The Minor Gesture, MSK, Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent, Belgium (2016); Marseille Résonance, MuCEM, Marseilles (2016); 12th Havana Biennial (2015); Drawing Now, Albertina Museum, Vienna (2015); The Plague of Diagrams, ICA, London (2015); 4th Athens Biennale (2013) and My Brain Is in My Inkstand, Cranbrook Art Museum, Detroit, US (2013). Among his recent performances are Entwurf einer erweiterten Grammatik des Kontinuums, MUSA Museum, Vienna (2018); Translectures, Enclosed Spaces and the Great Outdoors, Kaaitheater, Brussels (2018); Trajectories #1: New Drawing Embodiments, Haus am Lützowplatz, Berlin (2017) and Choreo-graphic Figures: Body Diagrams, Impulstanz Festival/AILab, Vienna (2016).

Gansterer is the author of the book Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought (Springer, 2011) about the ontology of shapes of visualisations and the development of the diagrammatic perspective and its use in contemporary art, science and theory. He is co-author of the book Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line (De Gruyter, 2017), which addresses the complex character of performative and embodied configurations.

He is a lecturer at the Institute for Transmedia Art, Vienna and guest professor at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna (2014–2018). He also heads the interdisciplinary artistic research project Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, funded by the Programme for Arts-Based Research (PEEK) of the Austrian Science Fund.

Born in 1974 in Klosterneuburg, Austria, Gansterer currently lives and works between Vienna and Brussels.

SAF participation:
Sharjah Biennial 14

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Nikolaus Gansterer’s expansive practice of mapping, performative visualisation and cartographic representations explores the accumulation of interrelated and often ephemeral phenomena and processes that constitute the specific atmosphere of a place.