Perry Hall

Artist (1967)

A painter, video-maker and musician based in Massachusetts, Perry Hall has developed a versatile practice whose guiding principle consists of natural dynamic forms of organisation. A graduate of Berklee College of Music and the University of California in Santa Cruz, from the start he has made use of experimental techniques that blend ferrofluids (magnetic fluids) or sound waves with traditional painting materials like oil and acrylic. This approach, which only uses digital technology in the recording of events in real time, enables him – first in paintings and then in films and installations – to confer a progressive, autonomous and live character to the paint. For Hall, the idea is to rethink composition in terms of ‘intelligent’ material substance capable of self-organisation once stimulated by energy sources. In Decalcomania, a series begun in 2001, the painter’s movements result in woven repetitive gestures which evoke both landscapes seen from the air and microscopic organisms. With his Livepaintings, Perry Hall acts on a dense layer of paint which he physically animates by means of temperature variations and vibrations inflicted on the fluid texture. The resulting turbulences and dynamic displacements of masses generate truly mobile behaviours which the artist then records with a super high-definition digital camera. Likewise, in Ferro Paints (begun in 2011) and in the Sound Drawings (begun in 2003), magnetic liquids and sound waves respectively make the paint kept in a container vibrate, like a musical instrument, and determine its surface movements: tides, vortexes or bubblings (Tidal Empire, 2011; Sound Drawing at Conwy Castle, 2011). The author of documentary films (Jackson Pollock: Beneath the Surface, 2006), interactive works (Lobbiports project in collaboration with servo in 2003) and musical works (Color Out Of Sound, 2011), Perry Hall teaches digital art and video at Bennington College in Vermont and intervenes regularly at Columbia University.

Nadine Labedade

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