American artist Gary Hill is one of the most important visual and sound artists working today. His pioneering investigations into the relationships between words, sounds, and electronic images have helped construct a large and varied body of work. Born in Santa Monica in 1951, Hill began his career studying metal sculpture before beginning his experiments with film and sound installations in the 1970s.
In many of his most renowned… Read more
About the artwork
Figuring Grounds is an exploration of language and the borders of linguistic expression. Featuring artists George Qhasha and Charles Stein making sounds at each other, the video piece investigates the communicative power of utterances devoid of specific meaning. For, whilst some sounds are reminiscent of words—notably, and ironically, "bla bla"—or feel phonetically familiar—animal noises, for instance—, Qhasha and Stein for the most part avoid attaching meaning to the sounds they make, focusing instead on pace and tone, action and reaction. Their voice performance gives the impression of a dialog, an exchange, sometimes even a competition, all outside the margins of rational linguistic expression.