Video (black-and-white, stereo sound); 2:00 min.
Rutt/Etra video synthesizer, Nuvicon video camera, Textronics tube oscillator, Javelin time-lapse videotape recorder, microphone, and Serge audio modules (voltage controlled amplifiers, sequencer)
One of the earlier works Hill produced on the Rutt/Etra video synthesizer, Elements combines abstract “landscapes” with fragmented syllabic language. Undulating topological forms superimpose themselves on one another, changing their shape and direction of movement.
“An initial image was made using a single free-running oscillator that continuously swept through the frequency range, producing wave-like band patterns often flipping over and changing direction. A rescanned recording of this slowed down seven times was the input to the Rutt/Etra.”
The nature of the image constantly shifts from what could be microscopic forms—amoebas moving in all directions—to what may be aerial views of impenetrable-looking networks that gradually fall into place before one’s eyes. At the same time, one hears syllabic fragments of the words “earth,” “fire,” “water,” and “air” that, although abstract, give the work a rhythmic pulse that converges with the rhythm of the visual elements.
Quasha, George and Charles Stein. An Art of Limina: Gary Hill’s Works and Writings. Barcelona: Ediciones Polígrafa, 2009, p. 578.