Video (color, sound)
Original format: U-matic
Running time: 4:45 min.
2 color video camera, Dave Jones prototype modules (keyer, analog switches, color field generator, output amplifier), microphone and U-matic videotape edit/recorder
“In 1979-80, I was teaching in the Media Studies Department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, filling in for Woody and Steina Vasulka, who had left for Santa Fe. Midway in the year I abruptly had to leave my apartment and move into my office—a relatively small space with a desk, a couple of chalkboards, a couch, plus everything I owned, which was mostly media equipment. About all I could do was work, if only to keep from feeling claustrophobic (moving things around seemed to make the space bigger). Around & About came out of a ‘what if’ scenario. What if I were to cut images to every syllable of a spoken text? (A way to keep me busy?) A daunting task in the time of U-matic machines and sloppy controllers. I did it all manually, hitting the edit button for every syllable. With each rewind I would listen and anticipate the coming syllable, learning as I went along to adjust for delayed reaction. I learned quickly—every ‘mistake’ was a step forward and one or more back. Rather quickly I wrote—I could almost say scribbled—a text, driven by a personal relationship breakup, yet, more to the point, directed to an abstract other; that is, someone a viewer could identify with. Rather than separately recording and collecting images , I set the cameras up ‘live’ for each edit/syllable of the entire text, constructing it linearly from beginning to end. I limited myself to images of the room, mostly unmemorable moments of walls, furniture, and whatever else was lying around. It didn’t really matter; it was more about change and keeping the viewer occupied while I spoke. The speech was ‘automating’ the event, making whatever happened happen, at times drawing the view off the screen to the hypothetical space outside the box.” - Gary Hill
An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings, by George Quasha and Charles Stein (Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009)
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