Linguistic Spill in the Boiler Hall, 2018
Site-specific installation incorporating 38 projectors with varying specifications, 20+ loud speakers and 38 media players
The 1977 video work Electronic Linguistics provides us with the starting point for Gary Hill’s Linguistic Spill in the Boiler Hall. Revisiting certain aspects of his previous piece, including the exploration of the intimate correlation between sound and image, the artist has now conceived a new work, with different configurations, for MAAT’s Boiler Hall. To begin with, Linguistic Spill is a large-scale intervention, envisioned by the artist as a “site-specific improvisation” for a room with very particular characteristics. It also involves a variety of new visual and audio materials, created using the same Rutt/Etra video synthesizer that the artist has been using since the 1970s [along with an array of supporting analog and digital sound/control sources].
The moving images occupy a visual space between drawing and an abstract writing system. Projected onto the machines and structures of the thermoelectric power plant, which receive the images as multiform screens. Created in real time, they enact the visualization of electronically generated sounds. This interconnectedness between abstract images and primal sounds contributes to the creation of the sensation of immersion in a preverbal environment. In each part of the projection, displaying what the artist refers to as “tags” or “electronic graffiti”, a green “mesh” appears and disappears, metamorphosing into the different shapes of the surfaces it is projected onto. This reminds us of the effect text has in Hill’s work, connections breaking down as fast as they appear, in the intersection between sound and image. ©Luísa Especial. Excerpted from the exhibition brochure produced by MAAT