Nicolas Ballet is an art historian who specialises in research into industrial music, new media, occultism, subcultures, the avant-garde and transhumanism. He received his Ph.D. in 2018 from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, where he teaches contemporary art history. His thesis examines the visual culture in industrial music of the 1970s and 1980s in Europe, Japan and the United States: « Force de Frappe ». Culture visuelle des musiques industrielles (1969-1995) ["Force de Frappe": Visual Culture in Industrial Music (1969-1995)]. He edited the book 'Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: Nekrophile' (2018) in two volumes, about the artworks and the notebooks of Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.
Recent articles of his include:
- “Psychic Driving. Les techniques de contrôle mental et leur détournement dans les musiques industrielles” (Histo.art, 2019), analysing mind control techniques in industrial music.
- “Survival Research Laboratories: A Dystopian Industrial Performance Art” (Arts, 2019), about the performances of the art group SRL.
-“‘Alpha females’. Transgressions féministes des musiques industrielles” (Octopus notes, 2018), about pro-sex feminism in industrial music.
-“Symphony for a Genocide. Musiques industrielles et totalitarisme” (Marges, 2018), examining totalitarian imagery in the visual representation of different bands.
- “Révolution bioélectronique. Les musiques industrielles sous influence burroughsienne” (Les Cahiers du MNAM, 2017), analysing the influence of William S. Burroughs on industrial culture.
For the research project “MIND CONTROL, Radical Experiments in Art and Psychology 1950-1970”, he was the curator of the exhibition “Persuasion: Industrial Music and Mind Control (1975-1995)” (Geneva, HEAD, April 2-18, 2015). He also organized the event “Industrial Music and Experimental Films from San Francisco by Marian Wallace” in Paris (Les Voûtes, May 2016), before presenting the cine-concert performed by the French projects Cent Ans de Solitude and Flint Glass on the movie Sprengbagger 1010 (1929) at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris in September 2016.
In 2019, he co-curated the exhibition “AntipsychiARTrie. Des liens entre art et antipsychiatrie de 1960 à nos jours” at the INHA with the research group Athamas – Art and Anti-psychiatry.
His artistic activities are linked to his research areas and focus on collage, music, and analog photography. The collages he designed since 2013 relate to the theme of space exploration inspired by science fiction and surreal mystery television series such as 'The Outer Limits', 'The X-Files', and 'Twin Peaks'.