Mikesell, Dan


Dan Mikesell

New York based artist, whose artwork values the performative nature of art, whether it is activating a space through physical or acoustical activity. His installations and devices have been shown throughout the United States and internationally.

Detailed bio

Work title:
Signal to Noise
interactive object, 2006
audio tape, custom magnetic audio playback/recording devices

Dan Mikesell - soundobject title: Signal to Noise, 2007 Dan Mikesell - soundobject title: Signal to Noise, 2007 click the thumbnails to enlarge the images

“Signal to Noise”is an interactive installation which explores the human relationship between sound, graffiti and public art and how human relationship with public places and architecture. People often make their space more personally comfortable by putting a part of themselves into their surroundings.This can manifest itself as music, grafitti or furniture choices to name but a few.

This interactive sound sculpture develops a physicality for the “signal” (desired information) to “noise” (undesired information) ratio by turning an audio tape player inside out allowing users to record audio as if it were hand written graffiti: anonymous, distorted, personalized, yet accessible to anyone who searches for it.
The piece consists of a large metal cylinder covered with wide gauge audio tape spinning at a constant velocity. Users interact with the cylinder through a hand held reader/writer which when held against the cylinder will play audio recorded on the tape or record sound onto the tape via a mic. The surface of the tape is a uniform black abyss with no visual cues to indicate where audio may be, the user must either search for it and/or record their own. Over time the build up of sounds and voices will cover the surface of the cylinder, creating distortion and in some people’s opinion, noise. But everywhere in the noise there is a signal.