The Highcoo of Synaesthesia

with Gary Hill



03 | Over The Wire

series curated by Charles Stankievech

Students in the exhibition:



Instructions from Gary Hill


1. Choose five words (with no fewer than 6 letters and no more than 10) that you are drawn to via their meanings, the sound of them and/or graphically the way they look.

2. Enter each word into an anagram generator such as:
(note: each word could generate hundreds of anagrams each of which could contain more than 1 word)

3. From each of the five generations select 5 words/lines (anagrams)

4. Order the anagrams of each set however you would like.

5. Read each set over and over again until the language begins to turn to pure sound.

6. Record yourself reciting each set.

7. Make 5 short close-up real time video recordings while listening to each set. Combine sound and image of each set adjusting only the timing and length of the video to conform to the length of the audio of its relative set (no editing within the real time recordings of video or audio). Save.

8. Return to step 1 and base a new selection of five words on the video recordings made in step 7 disregarding the sound. Continue repeating the steps linking language to sound to image to language until the looping process turns/throws the media components towards a synaesthesia. (At least 5 generations)

9. Review all your saved variations from step 7 and select 5 sets. Organize on recording media with 2 seconds of silence between each set.



Gary Hill has been recognized internationally as one of the most important artists of his generation, working with video and sound since 1973. His intermedia use of text, speech and image explore the physicality of language and our thought processes. Hill creates complex installations that often solicit the viewer’s active involvement to the point of "completing" the works themselves. Gary Hill has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the prestigious Leone d’Oro Prize for Sculpture at the Venice Biennale in 1995 and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "Genius" Grant in 1998. His work has been included in six Whitney Biennial exhibitions since 1983 and in Documenta IX where one of his most ambitious works, Tall Ships, was premiered. His video, sound and performance work has been presented at museums and institutions throughout the world. He is represented by Donald Young in Chicago and lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Image credit:
Mediations (towards a remake of Soundings), 1979 / 1986 - Detail Stills
Video (color, stereo sound); 4:17
Courtesy of the artist and Donald Young Gallery, Chicago