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Doug Hollis

Doug Hollis

Doug Hollis (b. 1948) is an American artist who works with wind- and water-activated sound sculptures, often in site-specific situations. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan and has since created numerous permanent and temporary sound installations around the United States. Working as an artist-in-residence alongside the museum’s founder, the noted physicist and educator Frank Oppenheimer, Hollis developed a fascination with sound sculpture and landscape that has persisted throughout his career. Hollis has created permanent works for the Port of Los Angeles, the New Denver Airport, and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California. His temporary works include commissions for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the San Francisco Art Institute.

An eerie orchestral chord floats on the breeze; it’s the shimmering sound of a 27-foot-tall harp being strummed by the wind.

The Listening Vessels are two large parabolic sound reflectors set 50 feet apart from one another on the museum floor. When visitors sit opposite each other, the sound coming from each reflector is focused, allowing them to clearly hear the other's voice in spite of the distance separating them or the noise in the museum.

This self-renewing vortex is formed by water pumped from the bottom of a 6-foot-high, 2-foot-diameter Plexiglas cylinder and then returned to the top at a high rate of speed. The resulting swirl forms a beautiful whirlpool which can reach all the way to the bottom of the cylinder or disappear completely at the whim of the visitor.