UBC | Digital Visions
Digital Visions
Scott F. Hall
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BluSoPea (2002), ChicAlie (2002), Cowdiss (2001)

In today’s society, the growth of electronic technology and interactive electronic transmissions not only changes the ways we communicate with each other but also changes the ways artists produce their art work. Scott F. Hall is one of the electronic artists who uses different types of electronic media to produce contemporary art work. BluSoPea (2002), ChicAlie (2002), and Cowdiss (2001) are three pieces that he has created by using both analog and digital electronic media. When I first saw these images, I thought they were digital prints. In fact, they are all analog video feedback images that Hall created from an analog video camera. Since these prints are called “digitally manipulated analog video feedback images”, the artist wants us to realize that both digital and analog electronic media are used in these images. But why does Hall like to use analog electronic media to produce art? What are the differences between digital and analog electronic media? Why does Hall choose to intermingle both types of media to produce his images? I believe that Hall would like to use his images, BluSoPea (2002), ChicAlie (2002), and Cowdiss (2001), to reveal some message and implication to his audience. One of these messages he tries to convey through his works is that electronic media should not be restricted to conventional forms: electronic tools must be used in innovative ways to generate entirely new art forms.

The major process used in his works, BluSoPea (2002), ChicAlie (2002), and Cowdiss (2001), draws out from the “introspective” and “infinite electronic void” images deriving from the visual feedback produced by an analog video camera and video monitor loop. In this process, “the output of a video camera is continually fed back into itself.” According to Hall, this process is similar to “the feedback loop of the electric guitar player”. The results produced are both “generative” and “regenerative”*.

Hall has stated that the main reason why he gained a fascination with all things electronic is due to the influence of his father. Hall’s father was a high ranking officer in the US Air Force working in international ground, air and space-based surveillance from the 1950s through 80s. In later years, his father worked for NASA. As he grew up, Hall’s father told him many interesting stories about cutting edge electronic technology. This early experience helped Hall develop a very rich background of his own in electronics and is likely the root cause why Hall makes his art with electronic tools today.

Being an electronic intermedia artist, Hall has used different kinds of electronic tools to create art. In BluSoPea (2002), ChicAlie (2002), and Cowdiss (2001), Hall has combined both digital and analog electronic media. He chooses to work with analog video feedback in these projects because he finds “it’s inherent aliveness, noise, distortion, and accidentally” can result in a wide variety of “spontaneous” and “somewhat accidental” imagery*. According to the interview with Hall, I believe he likes to work with analog electronic media more than digital electronic media because he believes that analog electronic media is something that is “alive” while the digital media is somehow “restricted” and “premeditated”*.

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