Saturday, January 21, 2012



This winter, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will host two innovative exhibitions. The first examines "undesirable sonic traits" such as radio static and cassette tape hiss, while the second features the best work to come out of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem, Israel's oldest institute of higher education, over the last five years.


WHEN: Friday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, March 11. A reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 5–7 PM
WHERE: Bunting Center’s Pinkard Gallery,1401 W. Mount Royal Ave.

MICA will present SIGNALto.NOISE, an exhibition featuring sonic stimulation such as casette tape hiss and antenna tuner static. The exhibition is 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.

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.

Bezalel on Tour
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Mar. 18. A reception will be held on Thursday, Mar. 1, 5–7 PM 
WHERE: Brown Center’s Leidy Atrium and in the Rosenberg and Falvey Hall galleries,1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

The College will welcome Bezalel on Tour, an exhibition showcasing some of the best contemporary creations from graduates that have come out of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design Jerusalem in the past five years. MICA will be the first U.S. venue for this touring exhibition, which celebrates the 105th anniversary of the leading international academy of art, design and architecture. This exhibition builds upon many years of MICA‘s cultural partnership with Bezalel, stemming from semester abroad exchanges. Both institutions act as key players in the global artistic discourse and can celebrate their many graduates forging important crossroads throughout the international art world.

Curated by the head of the Ceramics and Glass Design Department, Muli Ben Sasson, the exhibition includes diverse works from the Academy departments: fine arts, architecture, photography, ceramics and glass design, industrial design, jewelry and fashion design, visual communications and screen based arts, as well as works from its graduate programs: Master of Urban Design, Master in Policy and Theory of the Arts, Master of Design and Master in Fine Arts.

Film Screening: Waltz with Bashir
WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 16, 7–10 PM
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Winner of six Ophir Israeli Academy Awards and nominated for the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary film that tells the story of Israeli film director Ari Folman‘s attempt to solve a riddle from his past. Unable to remember a large part of his life, he concludes there must be a connection to the first Lebanon War of the early 1980s. Intrigued, he decides to interview old friends and comrades around the world to discover the truth about that time and about himself. The screening will be hosted by David Sterritt, director of the National Society of Film Critics and a MICA faculty member.

Reception and Screening of Student Animation Films
WHEN: Thursday, March 1, 5–9 PM
WHERE: Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Celebrate the display of Bezalel on Tour from 5–7 PM and then stay for a screening of 12 Bezalel student short animation films from 7–9 PM.
More than 100 years after it was founded by Lithuanian Jewish artist and sculptor Boris Schatz, the Academy continues to deliver its message of contemporary Israeli art as innovative and groundbreaking, fueled by local materials and creating a powerful international presence.

This exhibition is intended to be displayed in academies and galleries around the world. Previously, the Academy has exhibited in Orangerie du Sénat, Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, Universität der Künste Berlin and Sotheby‘s in London.

A showing of this exhibition is being planned for the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland in fall 2012.

Hours for MICA’s galleries, which are free and open to the public, are Mondays–Saturdays, 10 AM–5 PM, and Sundays, noon–5 PM. They are closed on major holidays.

Image captions (left to right): Student work from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design by Dafna Amar (Jewelry and Fashion Design Department); Student work from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design by Ayala Sol Fridman (Ceramics and Glass Design Department); Student work from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design by Almog Neeman (Fine Arts Department); Student work from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design by Oded Gov (Industrial Design Department); Faculty member jason.sloan, C-90 Type II, cassette tape, 45 minutes of equalized tape hiss per side, edition of nine cassettes.