Video (color; stereo sound)
Original format: U-matic
Running time: 4:00 min.
In this work, the field of Hill’s experimentation is the synchronization of visual and linguistic elements. For Equal Time, he sets up a minimalist arrangement, whereby two identical panels with grid patterns, starting respectively on the left and right side of the monitor, slowly move across the screen against a black background to the opposite side. As the panels overlap they produce moiré patterns. Each is associated with the voice of a different speaker, whose voices emerge from the left or right stereo channel. As soon as the panels completely overlap, the words of the two texts merge and the two voices, now in unison, produce a phasing sound similar to the visual moiré pattern of the panels. As the panels continue to move the voices have changed places and each one is now reciting the other’s text from ‘the room opposite.’ The panels continue across the screen disappearing as the voices end their respective texts. Hill also uses the element of speaking going in and out of synchronization in a later work, House of Cards, 1993.
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné, edited by Holger Broeker (Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002), GHCR 34, pp. 81.