Hannah Gill

Looped YouTube clips and failed Skype calls influence this digital-age fine artist

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Kingston University student Hannah Gill is a true digital-age fine artist. We first saw her delicate net and video installation at the ‘Blink and You'll Miss it’ exhibition in a warehouse in Seven Sisters amongst broken mannequins and plastic cups. Her penchant for exhibiting in odd places only adds to the hypnagogic experience that you get from her work.

The other day I was Skype-ing a friend in Spain, the connection was dodgy transforming her fine-looking face into a multicolored pixilated alien. I took screenshots of her face, which I’d really like to work into my next piece!

Dazed Digital: Tell us about the video of trees installation we saw at Blink and You'll Miss it?
Hannah Gill:
I started out recording the real time projection of a found YouTube video. I then projected and recorded this recording over and over again. Looping it back this many times causes feedback to take over and, similar to shining white light through a prism, the video starts to shatter into an array of colours. On the surface electronics are totally formatted and systemized to get perfect results but I am captivated by the delicate and unpredictable moments that occur in its glitches, unveiling a hidden natural energy.

DD: How do you display your videos?
Hannah Gill: 
I project them onto surfaces such as layers of netting that act as multiple translucent screens. I like projecting the digital onto the physical because it feels like I’m breaking down the divide between digital-space and real time-space.

DD: You’ve recently displayed these installations at Brainchild Festival. What was this like?
Hannah Gill: 
Taking my installations into an unstable gazebo in the middle of a blustery field was a bit different! The experience was really playful whereas in a gallery environment I feel like there is always a tendency for people to hold back from truly experiencing artwork confined to gallery rules such as ‘Don’t Touch’ and ‘Keep Quiet’. In the free spirit of Brainchild it wasn’t restricted in this way. Music and people could be heard from stages nearby and I even found one girl curled up sound asleep between the netting screens! I was a bit worried all the lasers, balloons and translucent screens would be a bit much for some people (after a few beers and whatnot) but it turned out really well. Lots of people described their experience as hallucinogenic and psychedelic, which fitted my hopes perfectly!

DD: Who or what inspires your work?
Hannah Gill: 
There are many artists that I could mention such as Chris Levine with his effortlessly magical light creations and Jon Rafman’s 9-eyes project. But, it’s the little things which get me most. The other day I was Skype-ing a friend in Spain, the connection was dodgy transforming her fine-looking face into a multicolored pixilated alien. The conversation failed to flow but we kept trying and I took screenshots of her face, which I’d really like to work into my next piece!

DD: Upcoming plans?
Hannah Gill: 
The girls from Brainchild really want to work with me again, and have suggested I play a bigger role in Brainchild 2013. It would be pretty cool to help them source young artists and make art installation an even bigger feature of the festival!

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