Ann Hamilton —
Making, and the Spaces We Share

The philosopher Simone Weil defined prayer as “absolutely unmixed attention.” The artist Ann Hamilton embodies this notion in her sweeping works of art that bring all the senses together. She uses her hands to create installations that are both visually astounding and surprisingly intimate, and meet a longing many of us share, as she puts it, to be alone together.

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is a visual artist and self-described maker. She is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at Ohio State University.

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Ann Hamilton works behind the scenes during her residency at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

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Ann is a gift to the world in helping each person experience her work in spaces through their own individual life filters. Through Ann's work she permits the viewer to engage all their senses and value the element of time. As a scientist, I love best the sincerity of Ann's visual work joined with technology to better understand our spaces and how she merges the power of thought with the human body. Ann is truly a treasure to us all.

You say what I have trouble putting into words, thank-you. I make art as well, totems, painted shoes, painted everything, and
people want to know what it "means to me", & I want to sound knowledgeable, articulate, & deep, and I usually shrug and say you
either like it or you don't. I enjoyed listening to you this morning on On Being.

At about the 25 minute mark in your conversation with Ms. Hamilton, you stated, "I went to Israel and went to the west wall..." The west wall is in East Jerusalem. In the eyes of most of the people of the world, East Jerusalem is not a part of Israel. Since this subject is one of the most contentious in the conflict between the State of Israel and the Palestinians, you would have done your listeners a service by making a simple distinction in your travel: You visited Israel, and while you were there, you decided that you would also visit East Jerusalem.

In the Truth and Beauty equation too often Beauty is not pursued or not revealed.
Not the case with Ann Hamilton whose work is right in the balance.

The Wall is in Occupied East Jerusalem, not Israel. No state entity recognizes Israel's annexation of this area nor its claim that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. No country has an embassy in Jerusalem. With all the thoughtful sensitivity of which she is capable, Krista should also be aware of the way in which propaganda can shape thought despite contrary but clear legal, social and economic realities

I was called yesterday by a 90 year old friend who told be about the show. "You will love this Annie" rhoda said,"It sounds just like our conversations with each other" Rhoda was my neighbor when I was growing up, and we have maintained a friendship even with our 30+ age difference. I am also a make who is interested in what words and objects do in the world to bring people together. I will listen to this show again and take notes, catch phrases that made flickers in my brain.
many thanks.

I am really attracted to the connectivity and mindfulness of creating here. Inspiration, letting go and receiving, all part of a wonderful journey.

Thank you so much. Loved your show.

That's art, everything can be beautiful.
By the way... Let me introduce, my name Sendy Yulfizar Kuswara (Adiew Cen).
I'm from Indonesia.
Nice to know you.


Adiew Cen Official Website – Art, Life, Music, and Photography

Thank you so much for introducing Ann Hamilton to me. It was an immense joy to listen to you two talk. This conversation is giving me so much inspiration and happiness. Will start to read about her and her work now. Thank you.

No subjective
Interpretation of
Perception yes and please no more of
Oh and
they just
comprehend the
Originality of
Creative Genius
You're either guided by
Divine Intervention through
Art or
You're not
More generic
Those that are desperately questing for some type of meaning to justify their shallow
Awareness could
Perhaps derive some minimal inane
Try not to quit
Day Job

LOVE this interview. I first saw Ann's work last year in Seattle at the HENRY art gallery. STUNNING! What is the name of the plastic polymer or rubber polymer she uses to photograph through? Her work with it is AMAZING! Brava for the variety of interesting people that Krista interviews.

Guest Ann Hamilton: Art is "spiritual" -- You are "making" something physical but the value of it is well beyond it's use as a physical object. If it has no abstract, metaphorical "meaning" then it's not art?

Making soup this morning. Putting aside a quilt top during the busy holidays. Thinking about my poet daughter, who recently took up knitting. Grappling with dissonance between colleagues in the writing department of my company. This program has helped me pull a thread to straighten the fabric of the heart work that lies ahead. With gratitude . . .

Perhaps most of us in radioland are simply needing to compensate for lives immersed in boxes, walking on level surfaces - repetitive stress of industrial life. LOVE AnnHamilton beginning immersed in love. Krista as well. It is the fountainhead.
I am grateful for such a rich offering - grist for our heart work.

Hand stitching baseballs on pajamas for a special nephew I was taken in immediately by her images of sitting with her grandmother while they read and stitched together - the hands moving as mine must to help me listen. The moments of taking each thing we make be it soup, planting or sewing as the moment we are engaged and present to what we need or want to do as sacred time. I then looked at her work and loved the installations. What a gift to have someone be able to take words as well as art and transform our day.

Ann does a masterful job of bringing seemingly disconnected experiences of living into a beautiful penetrating portrait of the essence of life's meaning. love her mind and her questions..

The shared space of making things, thinking about words that describe this process as well as the product, leads to:

1. Wikipedia's definition of wissenschaft:

Wissenschaft is the German language term for any study or science that involves systematic research. Wissenschaft incorporates science, learning, knowledge, scholarship and implies that knowledge is a dynamic process discoverable for oneself, rather than something that is handed down.

2. A recent PBS Newshour discussion (October 6 or so, 2015? Maybe off by quite a bit on this date) regarding the subtleties of the music and language in "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - perhaps not the exact title - from the Wizard of Oz. The interview conversation went something like:

If, Music is the sound of feeling.
And, Words are the sound of thought.
Then, a Song is the feeling of thought.

This fits well with Ann Hamilton's quote - from who? - that
Hearing is a way to touch someone at a distance.

So, from text to textiles and from music, words, feeling and thought to/from hearing and touch.


I enjoyed the Ann Hamilton interview. Sounded like there was an audience with this one. I usually only hear On Being at around 7:30 a.m. as I'm going to work on Sunday mornings. I teach tennis in NJ. and I find the conversations always thoughtful, wakeful. Often I turn on the radio in mid-interview and it takes a few minutes to figure out who the person is and their profession or raison de etre. Ms. Hamilton seemed to be talking about a lot of things, but eventually I figured out she was an artist. It was after her description of the toothpick hide!! I have to see it.
All the best,

I spent several hours at Ms. Hamilton's installation at the Park Avenue Armoury at the end of 2012. It was inspiring and joyous. It brought people together in a way that rarely happens when viewing art. For those hours, we were all children in a fantastic playground.

Listening to you this morning brought me out of the chasm of aloneness and grief and restlessness of the last few weeks. I am a Feldenkrais practitioner and have felt like "my experience" of the language of the body and the time and space it takes to remember and maybe even learn it is utterly outside of the world of people around me here in New York City and elsewhere. For years I have been holding a question - can I live and act from a place true to myself and yet be part of community. Anne's phrase alone together is such an elegant version of that thought. I was almost ready to move to Columbus Ohio to have some of the "together" with a like minded person!! Thank you!

I usually just write. When I'm tired, I'm inspired. Then my hands make type. Ever heard of synaesthesia? [the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.] In any case, many of the things you said resonated in me. Gratitude endless.

Might it not be that all there ultimately is is the perfection of the "organism" functioning with as little of the so-called person in the way?

I am tripping over the person all the time.

I absolutely loved what Ann said about not separating her worlds and that if the kitchen is blended with the studio then she doesn't feel so anxious about "making time" for art. That if you make a pot of soup, it's still making. I feel exactly the same way. There's a connection between all my activities and I see no difference between making art or chopping vegetables.

In other words, it's all good.

On November 20, my father passed away. Krista Tippett's interview with Ann Hamilton's aired on WCQS Sunday morning. Ill had been waiting to feel some thread of the intensity of meaning with my Dad's death, since I'd been separated from him at ten years old, and only had short meetings with him through my life (usually frought with conflict) until he was eighty years old, and experiencing significant dementia. When my brother texted me to listen to "On Being" my feelings flooded in. I made the mistake of writing my thoughts on my page and my father's on Facebook. I just let my feelings pour out. Within minutes my sister blasted me about how inappropriate that was. I removed it, but her tirade continued. The whole question on "HOW to BE together" was being played out online... I realized I needed to process these feelings, along with my desire to mend family relations in a more private, metaphorical way. But HOW?

Fast forward to last night ... I attended a meeting of BPAC ... a wonderful group of women at Bookworks in West Asheville. About twenty were gathered, print, paper, fabric artists. Moe, shared the ancient Asian art of Shifu, making thread from paper to weave and decorate with. In times past, until today people have woven messages of love and war into the paper. Moe shared how she reached out to her estranged daughter with this technique, leading to real intimate communication different from the troubled "chats" they had experienced. I knew that this was what I needed. A new way to reach out and truly communicate, in a meditative artful way.

All my experience in Communications, Public Relations, and StoryCatching with current media, had not given me the tools I needed for family interactions. Possibly this ancient means will open the way. Thank you sooh very much!!! Fiora