The Canadian artist and writer Tom Sherman and the Austrian musician and media artist Bernhard Loibner have worked together as Nerve Theory for 20 years. Nerve Theory is the collaborative identity of Bernhard Loibner and Tom Sherman.
In 1993,before they became Nerve Theory, they worked together for the first time for the Ö1 Kunstradio series “Radiomonologe / Radiomonologues”, which were thoughts for the day on the rapidly changing media environment.
In 1997 Loibner and Sherman were performing live in the framework Kunstradio’s 10th anniversary “Recycling the Future” – during the “Long Night of Radioart” they performed „Suggested Sway“, the story of a man who finds comfort in withdrawing from the world, and „Blanking“, which deals with information overload and closed the three-day festival.
The whole year of 2006 Nerve Theory produced a series of radio-miniatures “H5N1” that focused on the paranoia generated by the threat of the bird flu virus, H5N1, and gave them the opportunity to explore the global culture of surveillance and insecurity.
In their new radioart piece „Is the Imagination Analog or Digital?” the artists wonder if we imagine ourselves to be analog or digital creatures.
"Is the imagination analog or digital? Clearly we are analog creatures: animals, not machines. We are certainly not digital organisms. Our brains house our minds and our imaginations are inconceivably free manifestations of our footloose intelligence. We can go anywhere we want, anytime, without our bodies. The brain is a transmitter of the imagination, but although an argument can be made that our brains' synapses are digital switches, the brain in its neural complexity cannot be copied by digital means. The human body, brain, mind and imagination cannot be rendered in digital code. This doesn't keep us from trying."
---Tom Sherman (for Nerve Theory)
Sherman über Nerve Theory
Nerve Theory: How It Came to Be and Where It Has Gone . . . by Tom Sherman (2016)