The Center for Ongoing Research & Projects

Michael Mercil

Every sound

August 27th — September 23rd

  • Michael Mercil: Every Sound
  • Michael Mercil: Every Sound
He didn’t have any ideas in his head
He paid attention to what he saw and heard
He let the thing he was listening to go into his empty head
He had no ideas
He had nothing
He was free of his experience
His experience freed him
He could see all around him
Each time he saw you, he brought some radically new idea.
He thought of all sound as music.

About the Arist

Michael Mercil lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he is Professor in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. He received an MFA from the University of Chicago in 1988, and a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in 1978.

In 2005, with Ann Hamilton, Mercil began The Living Culture Initiative, a project integrating contemporary arts practices within the core research framework of OSU—a public land-grant college dedicated, in 1870, to teaching the “mechanical, agricultural and liberal arts.” In 2006 Mercil planted The Beanfield as an agri/cultural experiment with the Wexner Center for the Arts; and the Social Responsibility Initiative in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Because good farmers rotate crops, in 2008, Mercil converted The Beanfield into The Virtual Pasture (2008 – 2011). Nearby, in 2016, he will install a green energy park called Wind|Farm. Other recent projects include Thoreau’s Desk (2014-15) a musical composition for percussion trio commissioned by the deCordova Sculpture Garden and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts. Soon, Mercil will open Art Market™, an ongoing, studio-based project in Columbus, Ohio.

Mercil has received include a Battelle Engineering, Technology and Human Affairs Endowment Award (2016, 2009); Greater Columbus Arts Council Media Artist Fellowship (2012); Wexner Center for the Arts Film/Video Artist Residency (2011 – 12); Harpo Foundation Visual Artist Award (2010); Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship (2009, 2005); ASLA Design Honor Award (2009, 2003); Environmental Design Research Association Place Design Award (2002); Progressive Architecture Citation Award (1997); McKnight Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship (1990); National Endowment for the Arts Artist Design Fellowship (1989); and a Jerome Foundation Visual Arts Fellowship (1986).

Defining Objects