WEBEXCLUSIVE INCONVERSATION

“What Forms of Making Might Spin the Stories We Need to Lift Ourselves from the Distractions of the Immediate?”

ANN HAMILTON with Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

Habitus

September 17, 2016 – January 8, 2017 | The Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia

Pier 9, Philadelphia

Tumblr cloth · a commonplace

Installation view: habitus, Municipal Pier 9, made in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, September 17, 2016–January 8, 2017.© Ann Hamilton. Photo: Thibault Jeanson.

 

Ann Hamilton and I have been missing one another for decades. First in 1990, when Ida Panicelli (then editor of Artforum) asked me to write about Hamilton’s show at Capp Street in San Francisco, but because I lived in Santa Cruz, I had not seen the exhibition, and soon the magazine changed editors. She and I did meet in the late ’90s, when I was Senior Instructor at the Whitney Independent Study Program. I invited her to give a seminar only to learn later that my invitations to her and Matthew Barney were viewed in hindsight by the director as embarrassments (both were too “mystical”), which placed a pall over my contacting her again. But then I discovered another missed moment in my files while prepping for this conversation: correspondence with her and the editors at Art in America for a conversation that for some reason never happened and which I had totally forgotten. So the opportunity to meet in Philadelphia to talk about habitus felt like I was finally catching up with an old friend I had not ever been friends with. In fact, Hamilton is probably my favorite contemporary artist and yet I have not yet written on her work. So the event of the two of us meeting, each turning sixty within a year of one another; seasoned and bopped about by the world—art and others—had the feel of finally reaching home after years away.

It became clear to me as we spoke that the moment of this conversation had a different tenor and goal than with most artists as they launch a new exhibition because throughout the conversation she referred to the work as a living entity that she had not yet gotten “to know” - a process only possible as the project developed in time. When I think of the schedule that most art magazines require, it is evident that no one will really have written on habitus if their assignment was to meet a deadline for a publication that came out at the time the work is up. For this reason, and because the initial conversation was too brief and immediate, it has two parts. The first is from September 11, 2016 as we sat in Philadelphia at Pier 9. The second was via email months later, most importantly after November 9.

There are four sites of habitus: an installation at Pier 9, an exhibition at the Fabric Workshop, a Tumblr, and a free newspaper.

Over all habitus is a paean to cloth and language as “capacities” (Hamilton’s word) of physical, mental, social absorption and immersion, where each touches our body, becomes our surround. It is about the history of textiles and text; of the hand that sews and the hand that holds the book or pulls the rope to activate a monumental curtain. Habitus is “filled with scraps, with strands, with pieces and fragments of text and of textiles at the scale of the lap.” It is an account and activation of “spinning,” “weight,” “blanket,” “everyone”—four pieces of writing by Hamilton published in a free newspaper available to anyone. And so “We begin where we are: a reader and a page carrying a writer’s words. Two waves meeting from the stone thrown. Within the reverberation, we lose ourselves, are absorbed by words, sound, blanket, each other.”1

Presence: September 11, 2016 Pier 9, Philadelphia

We sit inside the vast enclosed Pier 9, the tones of various sounding mechanisms waft through the space like whispers lost in time. The feel of the space is one of embodied memory of the shipping industry mixed with the ever-present smell and taste of the Delaware River outside. Before us, gigantic circular curtains spin and whirl in tandem – activated by weather and the pull and release of ropes grasped by human hands. The melancholic tone is like the moaning of an aching rusty Tin Man far in the distance, yet the space is undoubtedly one of presence in the moment; of action and joy as humans young, old, enfamilied and not, wander through the space pausing to grab, pull, and release the overwhelmingly beautiful cascades of cloth. In the back, there is a film projected on a shipping container: two poems, “Channel” and “Mirror” by Susan Stewart, with benches for viewing. In front of this a woman at a table unravels sweaters, making holes, and pulling yarn. One is a tiny blue sweater Hamilton made for her son when he was a baby, others are donations and sweaters found in thrift stores. Ideally all of the yarn that is rend from holes will become a new ball of accumulated threads she will knit into a sweater, a collection of quotes, like a Walter Benjamin sweater of many threads. Behind a net a woman sits transforming an enormous pile of white raw fleece into yarn.

This is the umwelt of Ann Hamilton: textiles and text; wind and the lyricism of motion; making and unmaking; figures who are not performers but a living presence that add accent to the overall condition. Yes, condition.

***

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve (Rail): I usually just ignore September 11, but it is hard not to note that today is September 11. I went to the performance you did after 9/11 at Sean Kelly for the exhibition at hand (October 1 – December 27, 2001),2 where machines in the ceiling intermittently dropped blank sheets of onionskin paper. They floated gently to the floor buoyed by a slight wind as barely audible voices read “a hand holds – a voice calls” and other things. It worked for me as a gentle meditation or echo of the charred fragments and papers that flew in the air on 911. I lived in Brooklyn Heights, where the wind carried dust and pummeled office memos to the neighborhood.

Ann Hamilton: at hand was conceived and made before 9/11 yet became haunted by it.

Rail: That’s uncanny because it was so imbued with that event. I went back to read about it in preparation for our conversation and was struck by the ever-mercurial nature of art criticism because Ken Johnson’s review was the opposite of what I would have written. He spoke about the parts of the exhibition as uninteresting (those beautiful, skin-like pieces of paper falling and the poignant phrases) and, when addressed as a whole, for him, they didn’t produce anything greater than those parts, which was not my experience at all. It is a performance that still lives in my memory and links to that time.

Hamilton: I had not thought of it before but, habitus is founded on some of the same impulse of at hand - an accounting as much as a call to recognize the agency of and responsibility for our hands and our voices as the first primary and ongoing extensions of the body toward space. In at hand, I was taken by the whiteness of the page, which is full of space but empty of words. It was for me an invitation to inhabit and respond to that possibility and a kind of question: “What words do we need?” I was interested in touch at a distance (still am) – in the paper’s gentle landings down. The project unintentionally took on a relation to the horror that filled the blue skies on those days… and yet the question of what words and actions we need in response were all the more urgent.

Rail: The falling bodies….

Hamilton: The paper – blank – edged with color – in a room – in turn edged with speakers and recorded voice – recounting a litany of the bodies capacity to act with mouth and with hand.

Rail: Are Pierre Bourdieu’s writings on “habitus” at all influential on the development of this as this project?

Hamilton: I was aware of Bourdieu’s writing but it wasn’t a direct influence. Aristotle writes that touch is the sense common to all species. While animals have fur and scales, cloth’s coverings are specific to humans. Cloth is our common hand. If cloth is the surround we live within, language is the other. The relationship between what and how we know and think and understand through both has been the substance of my work for a long time. My work is always about bringing things into relation but understanding the quality of those relations always occurs slowly. At the Armory a few years ago for the event of a thread, the piece was timed in such a way that I could be there every day but every day the piece was different. The people who came in and the weather; the changing texts and light, the individual readers, writers and singers who animated it were everyday contingencies that changed the project. It required constant care of the live parts from the early morning feeding and re-caging of the pigeons, the preparation of the new concordance scrolls, repairing and recharging the radio receivers, to coaching the new rotation of writers, readers and singers.  Being with it-- feeling and witnessing how it worked for people-- taught me what it was. I don’t know that I could have learned from it if I had not made the decision to be in residence for the entire time the project was up.

Rail: Meaning such works never quite know what they are until they are in motion?

Hamilton: Yes. Meaning when it opens you don’t know what it is yet. It is there but it has yet to become.

Rail: That is such an important point and here we are discussing habitus when it’s just barely opened. How did it come about? This can’t possibly be your first piece with the Fabric Workshop?

Hamilton: It’s actually our third project together. I worked with the workshop sewing the horsehair carpet for tropos at DIA in 1993. And then we worked together on myein for Venice in 1999 but neither piece was exhibited here in Philadelphia. When we began to work together on the application for a PEW foundation grant over three years ago I knew the project would take place as the workshop approached its fortieth anniversary and I wanted to make a project that would link my own hand—which is first a sewing and weaving hand—to the workshop’s history and legacy of textile processes and materials and to the textile history and collections in Philadelphia. 

Rail: Everyone should be asked to define their hand.

Hamilton: Yes, it would be a good essay assignment:  please write 500 words describing the quality—or perhaps the nature—of your “hand.” But back to your question about background to the work: we crafted a proposal to research textile collections here in Philadelphia and to create a project in an offsite space, one that would locate the workshop in another neighborhood. We were looking for a space that could be public and accessible in ways different than the current Fabric Workshop and Museum galleries and studios. I was thinking about the collaborative structure of the Workshop, and how its incredible team of artist collaborators might extend to institutional collaborations. We worked with the Philadelphia Museum of Art which has always been a great partner to Workshop projects. But we also worked very closely with Winterthur in Delaware and with Philadelphia University which was originally a Textile School.

Rail: How perfect.

Hamilton: We began the process by looking at textile sample books and visiting textile industries still active in Philadelphia including a company making jacquard carpets and a dye-works that has been in business since 1865. I have long been drawn to sample books—the pages with bits of cloth that are formally and informally arranged. In addition to their visuality I am drawn to the possibility a fragment suggests. The fragment is tangible, but not yet a made thing; rather it is a holding, it is about the potential of the yet to be made or imagined thing. We also worked with and borrowed work from the Rosenbach Library, The Free Library, The Library Company, and The Historical Society.

Rail: Sample books are kept in libraries?

Hamilton: No. From the libraries we borrowed commonplace books which are different from but in my mind related to the sample books by the way a line of thread might be related to a line of writing, by the way our reading might weave relations between disparate parts. The 17th, 18th, and 19th-century commonplace books we borrowed each have a distinct hand and collection of quotations and excerpts from poetry, scripture, and literature. Even if illegible to a contemporary eye the fine spider-like writing of a 17th-century book conveys the sense of an individual hand and mind at work. Perhaps it is interesting to note here that the word textile contains the word text and comes from the verb textere which means to weave.

Rail: The connection between text and textile is so direct. And commonplace books?

Hamilton: Traditionally, a commonplace book reflects the idiosyncratic interests, organization and practices of an individual reader. I was interested in a collection of quotations and excerpts related to cloth’s histories and felt qualities that might be authored by a community of readers. We started a Tumblr site, cloth a commonplace, where anyone could submit excerpts from their reading. Those excerpts, or whole fragments, become for me word versions of a sample book – evidence of our human selves, our thinking, our memories, our aspirations, our hopes. 

Rail: It’s an exquisite Tumblr : not a supplement to the project but another site. I loved all the pages you underlined from Ann Rosalind Jones and Peter Stallybrass’ Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory and, as one continues to read, the amount and complexity of entries is stunning. It makes the reader’s mind spin. Just the first quote from Proust!

the sight of the cover of a book one has previously read retains, woven into the letters of its title, the moon-beams of a far-off summer night3 

 

Hamilton: Yes, just as cloth is a membrane that organizes disparate threads, the origins of the many texts in this digital commonplace is authored by many readers. The vocabulary of textiles and its metaphors fill everyday language. Cloth swaddles us at birth, covers us in death. We spin tales weave networks and speak of a social fabric. We asked readers to submit passages found in their reading that might describe the worn threads of a work jacket, the rub or reach of a sleeve’s cuff, the signal of a flag, the color of a red blanket, or the processes of stitching, spinning or weaving. Two-hundred of the submissions, including many of my own, were printed out as individual pages and made available for collection by visitors to the exhibition from stacks displayed on long shelves running the length of the workshop’s galleries

Rail: You respond to language like a poet and a sculptor, which brings up the newspaper. While I understand why you are drawn to the light, inexpensive paper, and a companion piece that people can carry away from the exhibition, it’s quite an object in and of itself. The sections you write…

Hamilton: But I am not a writer. If anything I seek to tactilize language to shape and form it as I might string or cloth. I am a weaver and though I am rarely at a loom, I think in terms of weaving metaphors and processes, the core of my work is always the relation between the threads, between the parts—the bringing into relation.

Rail: I know what you mean when you say you are not a writer, but you have such a gift with language, and you understand that writing is about discovery.

Hamilton: Perhaps it is like drawing, which is also something I do very little of. I am more of a reader than a writer; I find writing very slow and very difficult: the slow process of coming to understand what I am thinking, what I am feeling, and finding a way to word it.

Rail: Perfect phrase: “a way to word it.” My favorite section of the newspaper is blanket. Was there really a man called Blanket to whom we owe the name?

Hamilton: Yes, he was a Flemish weaver and invented the process and his name, Blanket, is now a rectangle of cloth.

Rail: So Michael Jackson naming one of his kids Blanket wasn’t weird?

Hamilton: No, not weird at all—cloth represents social bonds; it holds memory. I am always looking for the vocabulary that the work needs with the hope that I might, in time, find the words that are the voice I make with. To write from inside the work, to describe precisely but not explain. The hardest is writing the didactic material. I wrote the panel that is at the entrance of the installation because I wanted to describe what is here in ways that help you see relations without telling you what to think; to give just enough information to help visitors trust their own experience.

Rail: I use your work in my online class in the MFA program in Art Practice at SVA because much of that course, which ranges from Baudelaire to Nietzsche, Alfred Jarry, Artaud and Bataille to Donna Haraway, is about what it is to read. As an artist reading is part of your practice yes?

Hamilton: Yes, very much. I am interested in its absorptions, the spaciousness inside its linearity; in the condition and experience of what happens when we read. At the outset Susan and I spoke about forms of reading at the pace of the hand. I asked Susan if she would be interested in writing for a reel in a continuous line. In 2015 I worked on a performance collaboration called the theater is a blank page with Anne Bogart and SITI Company (commissioned by the Wexner Center for the Arts). We excerpted a version of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse and made it into a continuous reel that was read out loud by Rena Fogel over the almost three-hour performance. I loved listening to her read, watching the motion of her hands, the words pooling on the stage floor. I was interested in how writing for this form might create a condition for writing differently than writing for a page.

Rail: That sounds incredible. I think of Vito Acconci’s famous accounts of writing poetry in the late ’60s because for him, it was all about the space of the page, so much so, as he puts it, he had to write himself off the page. You and he are connected somehow but the directions differ—he moved away from writing into performance because of his interest in working with the body, while for you writing and performance and the body are –and always will be- all tangled up with each other. Susan Stewart’s poem is projected on a shipping container?

Hamilton: Yes, the reeling became a video projected between the work happening on either side of it – the rending or undoing of the sweater and the spinning of the raw fleece into yarn. So the words move at the pace of the hand which divides the unmaking in the rending of the sweaters from a form of making as old as technology—a weighted whorl—a drop spindle whose turnings, miniature in relation to the curtains beyond, spin weak individual strands of animal coat into a strong collective thread.

Rail: It is one or two poems?

Hamilton: Winding one direction, the piece Susan wrote is titled Channel, writing backwards through Channel is the poem Mirror though the poem was written before we knew we would be working on the Delaware River. Serendipity brought the Pier together with the poems’ narration of the flow of the water from its headwater through the country and through the cities to spill finally into the salty sea. But unlike a river, language can move in two directions, and so Mirror follows the salt back to the sweet headwaters that begins Channel. The language, phrasing, and the cadence shift slightly but many of the words are the same. It was made as a continuous line printed on cloth and set on a film reel in a circle like the curtains. The video, made with a miniature hand held camera close to the printed words falls in and out of focus. On the corrugated shipping container two frames are projected side by side, slightly out of sync. So the word begins on one side and repeats on the other making a constant rhythm of present and present-past. The poems are long, like the river. Very few people sit and read the poem through but one catches its rhythm even if you don’t catch all its sense. The reel—or wheel—of the poem is the image on the cover of the newspaper.

Rail: You have used the newspaper before. 

Hamilton: This is my fourth project with an accompanying newspaper but it is the first in which my own writing appears in a form other than a project description or acknowledgement. I think of the writing in the newspaper—mine and Natalie Shapero’s, who has written for all the newspapers—as functioning independent of but in concert with the project.

Rail: Why a newspaper?

Hamilton: I like the newspaper’s paper and texture. Its pages are larger but in a volume lighter and more flexible than a book. It can be inexpensively produced and given away. In this project it becomes a way to write in an associative way about qualities and ideas in the work.  If you sit and read it while in the Pier it offers a way into the relationship of part-to-wholes, of forms to other forms. It offers information to help you think about what you are experiencing without explaining anything about it directly. The newspapers become the project’s portable form, the thing that survives, the gift.

Rail: I’m interested in the multiple sites of habitus: the installation at Pier 9, the newspaper, the Tumblr, and the display at The Fabric Workshop.

Hamilton: Each form allows a different kind of experience. An installation invites you to move –to be in motion, to feel the air and sense the changing light. A newspaper invites you to read; a bench and projection invite you to sit and watch; a vitrine invites you to examine. Each has a different time signature. The newspaper is a kind of associative aid to accompany these invitations. Nothing in the newspaper actually describes what is in the exhibition, but they give you a history that might help you understand that, for example, the ropes in the Pier called “sallies” relate to the history of change ringing.

Rail: In the newspaper Nancy Shapero describes change ringing as “campanology” or, The Touch. Where does that come from?

Hamilton: It comes with my fascination of the communal pealing of the bells but let me go back to how we first began. We started the project with the idea of a field of spinning curtains. I had made spinning curtains years ago but they were moved with motors. In this project, I didn’t want motors, but instead I wanted to propel their circling with the up down motion of a rope and pulley based on the system used in bell towers.

Rail: Your process is so fluid and attentive to the immediate—to what is going on in your environment and the response and participation of your audience at the very moment of reception.  How much did the project change while you were working on it?

Hamilton: Everything is a response. Of course there are always changes during installation- the first time you experience HOW something is and have a chance to respond, it is crucial to let go of any expectation or picture in your head. For example, I had originally planned for the spinner to be up in the tower and then I realized: no, she has to face the turbulence of the curtains; face the unmaking of the knitted garments, sit inaccessible within the chaos of the Pier storage. Similarly, when we saw how the curtains filled and swelled with the outside air in contrast to the turnings activated by the rope pulley and weighted wheel, I wanted to add two ropes in order to invite two hands or two people to stand side by side, pulling and releasing in syncopated rhythm. This is where the proximity and the action, if not the sound, is related to change ringing where the ringers stand side by side in a circle counting and ringing the composition. The ropes at the Pier are the same ropes used in churches, with a related rhythm of catching, pulling and letting go. The “sally,” the plush grip of wool twisted into linen, indicates where to place your hand and is named for the motion of the rope leaping, or “sallying,” back and forth in response to the bell’s weight and pull. In the bell tower there is only one rope per bell but by having two ropes per curtain I wanted the focus to be less on the resulting action and more on the breath, rhythm and co-ordination with the person moving the other rope. In change ringing the hand listening to the ear must know when to pull, when to hold, and when to let go. Here the sound, made by air filling overhead bellows is more reminiscent of a fog horn.

Rail: And yet the real profundity of the experience is being inside the rustling large curtain ghost women as they draw across one’s skins, enclose, and caress. Unfortunately, it’s exactly what any one reading about the installation will never be able to grasp. I was incredibly moved by my interaction with the material. I had the same sensation from an artwork that is totally opposite and yet I think they are somehow companion pieces: Richard Serra’s Torqued Ellipses.

Hamilton: You might not know that I gave a talk on Richard Serra’s work at DIA a number of years ago. It was done more as a performance with a small chorus, spinning video, and a text made from quoting Richard’s writing.  His description of a ship in dry dock loaded—heaved into water—is often referenced but it made me think a lot about the sensation of weight becoming weightlessness.

Rail: Your opening paragraph of the section called weight in the newspaper brings so many associations together: “Water promises weightlessness to a ship’s tonnage as it does to an animal or human body. In water we experience buoyancy impossible to feel on land, except perhaps in the hiccup suspension that occurs on a fully extended swing, just before the pendulum’s inevitable backward pull,” which also takes us to the swings of the event of a thread at the Armory.

Hamilton: Yes, but speaking of Torqued Ellipses, I recently walked through it again at DIA. The sense of being enfolded inside their giganticism is a gorgeous feeling. They confound your sense of volume and distance. They return you to your body.

Rail: Was he at Yale when you were there?

Hamilton: Yes, Richard was a visitor and I had one studio visit with him. It was my first year in the program. I remember him kneeing on the floor beside me, listening. I wasn’t very articulate and I was very confused about what I was doing. I was just beginning to make installations and placing myself as a figure within them. I remember he was very patient and generous. He talked about Joan Jonas’s work and pointed me toward work I should know about.

Rail: And since then have you been in dialogue with him at all?

Hamilton: No. 

Rail: That would be a fascinating conversation.

[She jumps up to demonstrate to a couple how to pull and release on the rope. This happens several times while we talk.]

Rail: It’s so interesting to watch you. People are so invested in doing. It’s like they can’t let go and just watch, as if that isn’t the point. They hold on and have to be taught to let go!

Hamilton: In contrast to the swings at the armory I am surprised how unintuitive the ropes have been for most visitors. It is automatic to hold on, to pull them to the ground, but not to let go. Darian Leader talks about this in his book Hands: What We Do and Why, “The attention paid to grasping in early life has overshadowed the other manual activity that is leant much later: the ability to let go. If clasping is initially a reflex action, releasing is not, and must be learnt over the course of at least the first year.” I have asked the attendants to model how to use them—to pull and release—to demonstrate by doing rather than by explaining. Words are not very effective for teaching embodied motion.

Hamilton: I love this from the newspaper “The hand impatient with words is resistant to instruction by explanation. Words struggle to depict physical action. It takes three-hundred-fifty –eight words to describe what takes the hand as long as a motion and less than a minute to recognize.”

 ***

Postscript from 9/11 to 11/9: Email to Ann Hamilton, February 2017

Dear Ann,

The context in which our conversation will be published is so entirely dissociated from when we spoke on September 11, 2016, that it feels necessary to check in. When we met in the early fall, Someone With Tiny Hands4 was a menacing specter, a possible nightmare many of us had no capacity to absorb!5 While never political in a didactic way, your work is about the reflection and activation of social and political aspects of living, of conditions, feelings, and the body’s rootedness in history. I think of myein made for the American Pavilion of the 1999 Venice Biennale.6 It could, and should, just be recycled for 2017. Do you have any thoughts about habitus in the context of Trumpism, or is that too specific?

*

Dear Thyrza,

So, it all falls away in my mind to the turning over, the structuring of

The individual and the collective

Our Alone and our Together

The found and the made

The making and the unmaking

The words and the materials

Embodiment

Empathy

I think about the spinning curtains: majestic when taken up by outside air but more mechanical when taken up by the human hand. Their spinning turbulences fill and block the view beyond the immediacy of their surround, either to the end of the pier and its chaos of stored objects or to the outside, to the river that you can hear but not see. And yet, the effect of the human effort, pulling and letting go, is always eclipsed by the presence of the weather. This is where our listening needs to go.

Like everyone else I have been thinking a lot about how to respond to the political weather and events of the last few weeks and months. What to do with the feeling that the rug I thought was under my feet…the carpet threatened with unraveling…an unnerving sense of the lemming catapulting forward toward a cliff…blind to the fall ahead like the gang plank that was the walk up to the inauguration. How to respond, as an artist—as a citizen?

I have no answer—but I know we have to work with what is at hand. That we have to trust the process; that we need to be present and we need to keep working and recognize the demonstrative ethic and value of making. Making is hopeful and it seems especially important right now to gather hope and possibility. It is part of making a context for what you believe in so you can shape the stories and the reality rather than be in danger of them being shaped for you. There is no real dialogue in an Us/ Them world. How is our making part of making the condition for people to stand face to face and see each other? How do we forge a WE out of the divisiveness of the present?

Together we might spin the stories we need to focus our vision beyond the distractions of the immediate to attend to the long term work of culture, if the planet is to survive our species. I have no choice but to be optimistic but the impending sense that the stories we tell ourselves about where we are – will not be stories of our collective making, but instead will be stories manufactured by fake media to stir fear and hatred and division, to privilege individual profit over any larger good. But I also feel the possibility of wonder which is political for all that it refuses. I read a quote of Rachel Carson’s from Brain Pickings today:

It seems reasonable to believe—and I do believe—that the more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us the less taste we shall have for the destruction of our race. Wonder and humility are wholesome emotions, and they do not exist side by side with a lust for destruction.7

 

post coda

In other words, “In making form, what Hamilton has wrested from nature is a picture of our own agency.”8

 



Endnotes

1 Ann Hamilton

2 http://www.skny.com/exhibitions/ann-hamilton accessed February 2, 2017.

3 Marcel Proust, “The Past Recaptured,” trans. Frederick A. Blossom, in Remembrance of Things Past, Vol. 2 (New York: Random House, 1932), p. 1008.

4 In the spirit of supporting the “he who will not be named” resistance, see the Google extensions: “Make America Tiny Hands Again” https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/make-americas-hands-tiny/ojgpbadmpceampflpngboopnbgbhofjf?hl=en,  and “Make Americans Kittens Again” https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/make-america-kittens-agai/klchnmggepghlcolikgaekpibclpmgcm?hl=en

5 This is a reference to Hamilton’s the capacity of absorption, 1988.

6 See the description:  myein, 1999  http://www.annhamiltonstudio.com/projects/myein.html accessed February 5, 2017.

7 https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/01/13/rachel-carson-dorothy-freeman-letters/ accessed December 31, 2016.

8 Susan Stewart, "Ann Hamilton: tropos," in The Robert Lehman Lectures on Contemporary Art, Vol I., ed. Lynne Cooke and Karen Kelly, DIA Center for the Arts, New York, 1996, pp. 157-174.

Contributor

Thyrza Nichols Goodeve

THYRZA NICHOLS GOODEVE is a writer living in New York. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California in Santa Cruz under Donna Haraway and James Clifford. She is faculty and thesis director of the MFA in Art Practice at the School of Visual Arts, and Program Coordinator for the MICA summer intensive inDUMBO.

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