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SIGNALto.NOISE Explores "Undesirable Sonic Traits," Jan. 27-March 11

MICA faculty member jason.sloan creates exhibition featuring cassette tape hiss and antenna tuner static

Posted 01.03.12 by MICA Communications

Faculty member jason.sloan, C-90 Type II, cassette tape, 45 minutes of equalized tape hiss per side, edition of nine cassettes.

BALTIMORE--MICA will present SIGNALto.NOISE, an exhibition featuring sonic stimulation created by jason.sloan, the coordinator for the Sound Art Concentration as well as a faculty member in the Interaction Design & Art Department at the College. The exhibition will take place from Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, March 11 in Bunting Center's Pinkard Gallery (1401 W. Mount Royal Ave.). A reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 5-7 p.m.

Recently, jason.sloan has been examining the general understanding of noise, what he describes as something most people consider to be a disturbance to an otherwise desired experience. "Static during a weak radio or television transmission, or a child crying during a church sermon could be seen as anomalies that ‘ruin' the expected outcome of an otherwise desired event," jason.sloan said. The artist pointed out how Dolby Laboratories once developed a noise reduction system that was built into most stereo components to diminish cassette tape "hiss," an artifact of the recording process similar to white noise. Similarly, wet cleaning vinyl records became a popular method for audiophiles to reduce the crackle and pops from record playback. More recently, digital or Internet radio has all but eliminated weak signal noise or static common with old antenna tuners.

The works in the SIGNALto.NOISE series recycle a particular medium's inherent, undesirable sonic traits-including cassette tape hiss, radio static, digital music compression and more-and present them for consideration as the final work of art.

Through performances, installations, audio environments, videos and sound recordings, jason.sloan examines the need for transcendence beyond the body through a vehicle of visual ritual and sonic stimulation. His work explores aspects of immateriality and its connection to life, memory, systems and the virtual world.

Hours for MICA's galleries, which are free and open to the public, are Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sundays, noon-5 p.m. They are closed on major holidays.

Image caption: Faculty member jason.sloan, C-90 Type II, cassette tape, 45 minutes of equalized tape hiss per side, edition of nine cassettes.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.