Video (black-and-white, silent); 1:30 min.
Black-and-white camera, turntable, and Dave Jones prototype modules (input amplifier, video comparator/border generator, output amplifier)
A single solid white line rotates 180 degrees, beginning at a vertical position in the middle of the screen. At first, it forms “stair-steps,” and then, approaching horizontality, it intermittently breaks up, literally between the (scan) lines. Continuing, the line reconstitutes itself as it reaches its initial vertical position.
“The idea was to focus on the moment that the line passed through the horizontal position—coming to and going from, literally, a space between the lines. Given that the video signal consists of 525 lines per frame, the line (white on black) passes through a kind of liminal moment in which it is “deciding” which line will be scanning it and thus ambivalently creates an intermittent line, a momentary unruly dotted line, as it passes through the horizontal position. This was telling me in some way that there was a kind of hidden space that might be an ingress for language. This was the opposite of what I might naturally think about an electronic signal and language. In other words, the electronic signal always seemed like a sub-particle in relation to language, which by comparison is rather bulky and time-consuming to think, speak, receive, and comprehend. So the only way to get between the lines and deal with this liminality seemed to be some kind of textuality.”
Excerpted from "Introduction: Electronic Linguistics" in George Quasha and Charles Stein's An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009.
"Meet the Makers: Gary Hill,” Donnell Library, New York Public Library, New York, New York, June 14, 1979.
“Beau Fleuve,” organized by Media Study/Buffalo, Buffalo, New York. Travelled to: Center for Media Art, American Center, Paris, France, December 3 – 7, 1979; L’Espace Lyonnais D’Action Culturelle (ELAC), Lyon, France, December 10 – December 14, 1979; Musée Cantini, Marseilles, France, December 17 – December 21, 1979; Media Study/Buffalo, Buffalo, New York, January 14 – 18, 1980.
“Beau Fleuve: Five Programs of Work by 27 Film and Video Makers from Buffalo.” Media Study/Bufflao (January – May 1980), p. 11.
Gary Hill: Selected Works and catalogue raisonné. Wolfsburg: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2002, GHCR 36, pp. 85, 86.
Quasha, George and Charles Stein. An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009, pp. 75, 584, 590, 598, 620, 629.