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27th November 2013

Noise and Signal

Jasper Llewellyn reviews Daksha Patel’s Noise and Signal.

Daksha Patel has been making work for a number of years now across the North West, regularly displaying pieces across Manchester and Liverpool in galleries including The Cornerhouse in Manchester and FACT in Liverpool. The overarching point of focus throughout Patel’s career so far has been, what she describes as, ‘medical visualisation technologies’ and yes, it seems like a somewhat unorthodoxly scientific interest for such a visual artist, however, after five minutes looking at/with/in her work, it all somehow seems to make complete sense.

‘Would you like to see your body rhythms as part of a piece of artwork? ‘– This is the premise of Patel’s latest work, entitled ‘Noise and Signal’ which ran unfortunately for only 4 hours last weekend at the Cornerhouse. Using sensors monitoring the subtlest heat changes on the end of your index and middle fingers, Patel aimed to map participants’ responses to other pieces of artwork within the Cornerhouse by undertaking live drawing as the readings coming from the sensor were projected on to the wall of Cornerhouse’s ‘Annexe’ space, a room often devoted to live and installation art. Glimpses of abstract grid-like formations appeared on the wall with random frequency as participants ventured out into the main Cornerhouse gallery and bar area, complete with skin sensor and a wireless pack which sent readings back to the Annexe where they were combined with readings from Patel’s own body and then run through an assortment of programs before appearing physically as blueprint-esque projections. This is where Patel’s skill with a pen came into play as she keenly focused on the movements of the projections, drawing over the projected image and often personalising it with small touches of her own. I thought this was a fantastic piece, which raised some really interesting questions about how we view art on a sub-conscious level, and I’d really recommend keeping an eye out on what she does next. Check out her ‘Fat Drawings’ if you’re interested.


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