Galápagos Chorus | 2008 / 2009
Commissioned for "Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet"
Organized by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA), the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), in partnership with the international conservation organization Rare
Galápagos National Park
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Materials: DVD projection, amplified cone gloves with prerecorded animal sounds, iPods, artist's book with texts by 8th grade students from El Colegio Nacional Galápagos
Galápagos Chorus was made possible through a commission by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive which supported an artist residency in the Galápagos Islands to develop a project. Hamilton traveled with scientist Laurel Braitman to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island and worked with the students of Collegio Nacional Galapagos to create a poetic environmental inventory, a litany, to perform as a chorus. (To see the script for this performance, click here.)
During the performance, the students wore cone gloves embedded with speakers that played recordings of animal sounds, forming an accompaniment that worked in unison with, and as a counterpoint to, their live speaking.
Upon returning home, Hamilton edited video and audio from the trip, and designed artist books made with the scores in collaboration with the students. With these, she created a traveling installation as part of the "Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet" exhibition at MCASD and Berkeley Art Museum in 2009. To see interviews, images, the project proposal, and other information about Galápagos Chorus, please visit the exhibition website here.
Photo credit: Emily Pozo / Ann Hamilton Studio