Doug HallAmerican (San Francisco, California, 1944)
The Terrible Uncertainty of the Thing Described
This large-scale video, sound, and mechanical installation takes its title from Edmund Burke's Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). Hall expresses states of awe and revelation that are traditionally associated with the sublime through a tumultuous vision of the contemporary landscape.
Multiple video monitors and projections present televised imagery of storms, fires, floods, and industrial processes in a fast-paced confluence of the natural and the mechanical. A blackened steel mesh fence tips precariously toward the viewer while a Tesla coil intermittently discharges arcs of lightening. The artist perceives weather conditions as concrete forces of destruction and renewal that symbolize the erosion of our social and emotional lives.