Video (black-and-white; sound)
Original format: U-matic
Running time: 13:25 min.
Videograms is a series of short vignettes tightly correlating spoken texts with electronically generated abstract forms. The piece is subdivided into individual sequences, each of which is numbered, although not in numerical order. Working highly intuitively using a scan processor with many control sources, the artist transforms the tabula rasa of the video screen into complex metamorphic forms that draw from what is being said in unpredictable ways. The content of the spoken elements might be considered fragments from everyday life. At times the images seem to be analogous to photograms, in which an exposed object appears as a white silhouette against a black background. Now and then allusions are made to representational objects, such as an amphitheater, which is heard in the spoken passage. The tape was created with the aid of a Rutt/Etra scan processor, a tool from the 1970s that permits electronic forms to be modulated on-screen. Videograms and Happenstance (part one of many parts), 1982 - 83, are considered some of the quintessential works done with this instrument and expanded the artist's idea of an "electronic linguistic."
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné, edited by Holger Broeker (Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002), GHCR 43, pp. 96 - 99.
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