Doug Back: Jacob Wrestling with the Angel

  • ©1990, Doug Back, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel


    Jacob Wrestling with the Angel




Creation Year:


Artist Statement:

    This piece consists of a video camera attached to a motorized camera mount, a video monitor and eight objects arranged in a semi-circle around the camera. The motor can rotate the camera around a room similar to a surveillance camera. The motorized camera is in the centre of the room and is surrounded by objects in a semi-circle. As the camera pans around the room, the motor pauses the camera as it points at each object. The objects are recorded on videotape along with audio tones which start and stop the motor.

    On play-back the electronics and motors pan the camera around the room exactly as it did while the objects were being recorded, stopping the camera at each object. To the viewer it appears that the camera is “looking”‘ at each object and displaying them up on the video monitor. However the camera is no longer on. The video monitor is showing pre-recorded images. The objects all have changed over time. The monitor shows fresh flowers – on the floor lie wilted flowers, the monitor shows a block of ice in a pan – on the floor there is now a pan of water, etc.


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