Spring from Undertime (Awaking Awaiting), 2000
Gary Hill, George Quasha, and Charles Stein, with collaboration by Kathy Bourbonais, Anastasia Hill, James Kessler, Torben Ulrich, and Nazneen Kateli D’Souza
In late February and early March of 2000, two performances by Gary Hill, George Quasha and Charles Stein were developed during a two-week residency at Seattle’s experimental performance space, On the Boards. Throughout the piece there were video projections on four screens, two at the rear of the stage forming something like a book and two portable screens that were moved around in variant “frames.” The performances involved a series of segments, some rehearsed, some blocked out in rehearsal and improvised during the performances. Video projections on two screens at the rear of the stage comprised the following: typed versions of individual lines from George Quasha’s Preverbs (full title: The Preverbs of Tell: News Torqued from Undertime, origin of the title Spring from Undertime) selected for the performance; pre-recorded sequences of videotapes of crystal balls and toy gyroscopes rolling on an 8’ x 8’ mirror; prerecorded images of hand and face ‘plays’ with the crystal balls; and prerecorded shots (either the full face or just the mouth) of the three artists, along with Torben Ulrich and Nazneen Kateli D’Souza, reading selected Preverbs. Early in the performance, a steel sphere (24” in diameter) specially developed by Gary Hill, containing a live video camera with lens situated in a hole on the surface, was rolled onto the stage and passed through the audience. The turning camera’s images were projected live on the screens at the rear of the stage. The 8’ x 8’ mirror was placed at center stage acting as an empty center or void that had to be continually negotiated by the performers; in a sort of ‘child’s play,’ crystal balls and gyroscopes were engaged across the surface of the mirror. Improvisations included several minutes of sound poetry improvisation by the three performers using a text from Gary Hill’s And Sat Down Beside Her installation; a solo sound poetry event by Charles Stein; and continuous interaction between Gary Hill, manipulating video and sound events, George Quasha, working a laptop issuing Preverb lines, and, during one long final series of events, Charles Stein manipulating a live mini-video camera focused on the crystal balls and gyroscopes on the mirror. The interaction between live human events, their projection on the screen, and both pre-recorded and live texts and video sequences constituted the milieu of the piece.
Quasha, George and Charles Stein. An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009, p. 592.
On the Boards, Seattle, Washington, March 3 – 4, 2000.
Quasha, George and Charles Stein. La performance elle-même in Gary Hill: Around & About: A Performative View. Paris: Éditions du Regard, 2001, pp. 78, 81 – 82, 94 – 97, 102, 103 – 105, 109.
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné. Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002, GHCR 120, p. 236.
Quasha, George and Charles Stein. An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009, pp. 456, 501, 503, 526, 592, 614.