Gary Hill essay sample

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Gary Hill

Gary Hill is one of the pioneers of new media art which uses video. Hill started his work on video installations in 1970s and since then became a worldwide renowned artist for his thought-provoking and philosophical works.

Hill is recognized for his radical approach to video medium and combination of visual digital images with sound and language.Hill started with use of single-channel videos in his early works, like “Electronic Linguistics” (1977), “Happenstance (part one of many parts)” (1982–83), “Why Do Things Get in a Muddle? (Come on Petunia)” (1984), “URA ARU (the backside exists)” (1985–86).

Later on Hill started experimenting with multi-channel videos and with video screens of different sizes which were suspended, organized in different combinations, and otherwise manipulated (Cooke, 2009). In his works Hill combines different media, mixing visual, auditory, and linguistic features. This combination creates unique experience and has an ability to send the most varied philosophical messages. Hill’s installations give viewers a chance to feel synesthesia and puzzling combinations of perception and senses.

I find this Hill’s technique of playing with human senses very appealing. It offers unexpected and unusual experiences and captivates viewers’ attention. This strategy has an ability to make people think about, analyze, and interpret what they see and hear. Moreover, the technique gives Hill a chance to experiment and create works with unlimited interpretations, since every viewer can understand an artwork in his or her own unique way based on their worldview, previous experience, knowledge, and education.Another area of Hill’s art pertains to the sphere of language. His works portray relations between language and digital images, which are named “electronic linguistics”. This term understands language not traditionally as combination of words, but as the very act of speaking which takes place in electronic spaces, namely videos. This means that every artwork and video medium are acts of communication, they “speak” to the viewers. Language itself is also often used in Hill’s works. Its usage intensifies the dialogue between the medium and the viewer and reinforces the work’s message.

Language is used alongside visual images; these two media interact with each other, which provides a new perspective on the language and video used. The strategy of complementing video image with linguistic features is effective due to its ability to guide the viewers to better understanding of the work’s message and meaning and to influence viewers’ consciousness. It gives new dimensions to the work making it even more unusual and attention-catching. The act of speaking and non-traditional understanding of language is closely connected with Hill’s technique of body deconstruction and physical experiences. Hill views language of art as coming from the artist’s body, gestures, and actions during the process of art creation. One of his early works “Crux” (1983-1987) demonstrates this technique. Here Hill attached five cameras to different parts of his body and filmed his journey through the wild.

The screens showing the video are arranged in the form of crucifixion so that each screen displays the video …

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