Ann Hamilton
Galápagos Islands, Ecuador


Project Summary

Ann Hamilton first visited the Galápagos in June 2005 and traveled by catamaran to the various islands, where she observed many of the animals for which the Galápagos are known—land iguanas, finches, sea lions, and tortoises. The artist returned home thinking about such concepts as buoyancy and balance in relation to human life and natural landforms, concepts that go to the heart of Human/Nature. In response, Hamilton has created a poetic text that inventories the animals and plants of the Galápagos, cites population figures, and incorporates words from Charles Darwin’s famous texts about the islands. Local elementary schoolchildren recited the words from a boat circling the islands. The exhibition installation features video footage documenting the children’s performance and including images of a wavering horizon line shot from a camera suspended in water.

Ann Hamilton returned to the Galápagos Islands in spring 2008 to produce the piece.

Project Credits

At El Colegio Nacional Galápagos:
Director: Maria Lopez Balseca
Instructors: Laura Lopez, Gandy Guerrero
Students: Grade 8, Cristian Guerrero

Galápagos ICE:
President: Emily Pozo
Vice-President: Mauricio Pozo

Rare, Arlington, Virginia:
Human/Nature consultant and onsite project coordinator: Laurel Braitman

Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California

Borror Lab of Bioacoustics, The Ohio State University:
Dr. Jill Soha

Wellington School, Columbus Ohio:
Erin Noviski
Sloan McMullin Maglieri

Emmett Mercil

Jose Machuea

Sieler Design Products, Gardena, California

Ann Hamilton Studio:
Project Coordinator: Anjali Srinivasan
Studio Manager: Kate Livingston
Studio Assistant: Jamie Boyle

“We were snorkeling…and I started thinking about the experience of buoyancy, the way buoyancy is a kind of equilibrium, a kind of metaphoric state in terms of these dilemmas about how much we develop and how we protect. This state of buoyancy is the state that we want to achieve.”

—Ann Hamilton, on her Human/Nature trip to the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador

Related Links

Ann Hamilton Interview

Produced by Lidia Rossner and Alexander Rossner,

Galápagos Video Documentation