fall storm (california, 2003)

fall storm (california, 2003)
3 mins, colour, video, january 2004

Sitting in a quiet room; listening to a storm out the window.

On the soundtrack the wind gathers, thunder rolls and breaks, a storm is coming. But the image is nearly featureless, a blank screen scored by soft, lit from within clouds which have been re-coloured pink and purple and orange. These eruptions of light do not illuminate a scene or make clear a sense of place, instead they are swallowed by darkness, they can illuminate only themselves, their own small moment in the night sky. A lightning bolt, a passing cloud, can these “natural” phenomena be bottled and preserved next to paintings by Rothko or Agnes Martin? The wind and storm, like the darkness, just a steady outpouring, the ground, against which these figures of light appear (a longer lightning bolt, all pink, a cloud, a small winking dot). Details of the imagination. There is never panic but instead, we settle into a darkness which has grown familiar, more usual than the gaudy instants of light. A movie for the ears. A move designed to stage the act of hearing. A familiar night after all. [Mike Hoolboom, 2007]