On reading and making

Ann Hamilton (from Buddha Mind in Contemporary Art, 2004, ed. Baas & Jacob):

Increasingly a large part of my process of coming “to make” things extends out of the atmosphere of the books that I gather around me. Reading is a part of forming a landscape that allows work to happen, and a part of every project is the process of finding the book a project needs. It isn’t something that can happen by intention.


So the process of making work is first one of waiting. And reading is one of the ways I wait.


I am drawn to reading poetry for the way poetry offers up words and, in a new way, their meanings.


If all art happens as an act of attention, then: What is making? What does it mean to make?


How is making a form of being in the world? What is the place of making by hand? What is the form it takes now? How is it relevant or has making by hand become a nostalgic activity? How is it necessary? How does making animate the world? How does it become reciprocal? How is reading making? Might the space and experience of reading be tactile and material? What acts might constitute the process?


There are so many marvelous intriguing questions in this text, questions demanding further investigation. I have underlined just two them, which I find to be directly applicable to my praxis as an art critic: How does making animate the world? How does it become reciprocal? Being a critic, I sometimes feel like I’m standing on the threshold – an invisible line – between a world of the unbelievable and the world habitual living. My task is to get the two spheres into contact – .

 Ann Hamilton: The event of a thread

One Comment Add yours

  1. “How is reading making?” … I like that question.

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