Reclamation is a multidisplinary project that explores the coastal defense structures located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Presented here is the a clip of the video component from the installation at the Headlands Center for the Arts in June 2009. The video was viewed from a bunker structure built into the project space giving the viewer a visceral vantage point to view the slow dissolution of the bunkers into the coastal landscape.

While in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, I became fascinated with the bunkers dotting the landscape of the Marin Headlands. The coastal defense bunkers remain in a dilapidated form today – resting military monoliths in the now public lands of the National Park Service. Facing the persistent Pacific Ocean, the bunkers are slowly giving way to erosion.

The video, “Reclamation” came out of an impulse to see that process through. As the video progresses, the bunkers slowly fade away and continue the bunker’s further dissolution into the landscape; highlighting their isolated and largely forgotten past.

My interest in the bunkers, batteries and barracks is their former function as observation/defense outposts: always on guard, looking out for a threat that eventually never came. As objects of protection and defense they also carry the weight of militaristic control. They represent a balancing act we all must steady ourselves with at some point. In global or personal relationships we all, at some point, give up a portion of control for protection or stability.

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Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Video works and documentation by Michael Hall

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