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Gary Hill


Gary Hill, Dervish, 1993-1995
Gary Hill is primarily interested in abstract forms of video and believes it fundamental to deconstruct video on all possible levels in order to articulate an electronic language specific to the medium. Hill particularly stresses image-sound-relationships. However, unlike the Vasulkas and Paik, he developed his electronic vocabulary on the basis of language systems.

As early as the 1970s, Hill worked with video and used the Rutt/Etra Scan Processor as well as Eric Siegel’s Electronic Video Synthesizer; his focus was to move away from photographic types of images and to create new forms by recombining dissociated elements (text, image and language). For Hill, the development of the electronic vocabulary was a question of language, because the temporal process of writing in video parallels the succession of thought processes and their verbal articulation. The specific moment of video that drives this movement lies in the feedback process.

Hill said in an interview, “I first used video in 1973. [...] Video allowed a kind of real time play, the possibility to ‘think out loud.’ Here was a process immediately accessible and seemingly a much closer parallel to thinking. [...] Time, this is what is central to video; it is not seeing as its etymological roots imply. Video’s intrinsic principal is feedback. So it’s not linear time but a movement that is bound up in thinking - a topology of time that is accessible." (1)

Yvonne Spielmann © 2005 FDL

(1) Gary Hill, “Inter-view” in Gary Hill , Ausstellungskatalog, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Vienna, Kunsthalle Wien, 1993, p. 13.