(abc · video) | 1994/1999
Video (black and white, silent); 15" LCD screen; videodisc; videodisc player. 2012 variation: 20" LCD monitor; DVD; DVD player.
In a time when successive generations of technology amplify human presence at distances far greater than the reach of hand to touch or voice to space, what becomes the place and form of making at the scale and pace of the individual body? How does making participate in the recuperation and recognition of embodied knowledge? What are the places and forms for live, tactile, visceral, face-to-face experiences in a media saturated world? How--in making present what is absent--does the practice of art articulate the joint between the word and the body as it links the scale of individual action to collective presence and social imagination?
In abc·video, the fingertip erases the alphabet, and then, through technological means of video reversal, appears to rewrite it, letter by letter, sound by sound. The most individuated mark of the body, the fingertip, dissolves the printed alphabet, its speech and sound, into the realm of touch.
The fingertip, “which is the most individuated mark of the body,” erases the alphabet and rewrites it. This process is emphasized by the way the video is edited to run forward and in reverse. This video would become a touchstone for Hamilton as a reference to the relationship between written language and tactile experience.
Photo credit: Ann Hamilton
Text excerpted from Joan Simon, Ann Hamilton: An Inventory of Objects, New York: Gregory R. Miller & Co., LLC, 2006, and Ann Hamilton, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 2002.