Video, color, sound, 30:00 (loop); LCD screen; DVD; DVD player; fascia plate
15 inches / 38.1 cm (screen)


The first in a series of spinning video projections, the looped footage of this drawing line originally circled from two twin tables set in a recently closed textile factory in Charlottesville Virginia for the installation ghost . . . a border act (2000). A turning point in the work, the drawing and the video were made with a newly acquired camera, and by “using a large piece of paper on one of my largest tables.” To make the video (and the drawing), Hamilton held the video camera in her left hand and a pencil in her right hand and ran around the perimeter of the table (sometimes being chased by her son, Emmett). “It is my trying to draw . . . finding how hand and breath and live time meet in attention to leave a trace that is unrepeatable.” Hamilton similarly found a drawing process of her own, which was used in the installations parallel lines in 1991 and accountings in 1992, where she smoked the walls with soot.

Spinning clockwise on one table and counter clockwise on the other, the projected line in the 2000 installation ghost . . . a border act dipped in and out of alignment with the factory’s existing horizon, painted white above and blue below. Orbiting in overlapping speeds across and around a large production room, the lines turned at the pace of the body walking, refracting and shifting scale as it passed through multiple layers of silk organza which surrounded each of the tables in a suspended cloth room.

As a standalone object titled (ghost . . . a border act · spinning video), the Plexiglas vitrine replaced the cloth surround. It refracted, doubled, and mirrored the image so the primary projection moving around the room was both trailed and chased by its own reflection. The sounds of the video are of pencil against paper, a sound recording of the image’s making. This video was also exhibited in mercy, a collaboration with Meredith Monk, which premiered in 2001 at the American Dance Festival at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Ann Hamilton - ghost... a border act_spinning video

Photo credit: T. Cogill


Text excerpted from Ann Hamilton: An Inventory of Objects. New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2006. Joan Simon.