Gary Hill (1951) is one of the most important contemporary artists investigating the relationship between words and electronic images. His enquiries into linguistics and consciousness offer resonant philosophical and poetic insights, as he probes the formal conjunctions of electronic visual and audio elements with the body and the self. Site/Recite moves across and around a tabletop scattered with the detritus of what was once living - bones, butterfly wings, egg shells, seed pods, skulls of birds coupled with crumpled notes, crystals and crushed shells - in a series of seamless edits that present a continuous flow of detailed close-ups of what Hill has called “The Cosmology of Death”. This taxonomy of mortality and the ephemeral is juxtaposed with a narration on the linkage between semantic self-consciousness and visual experience. Through the ‘window’ the narrative text provides, the objects on the table come to associate how consciousness affixes itself to material manifestations and how memory is constituted by the collection of empty vessels.

1989, 4’05”, video, colour, sound.

Image Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix, NY.

Gary Hill, Site/Recite (A Prologue), 1989