There is a quote by Marcel Duchamp “America’s greatest works of art are her bridges and her plumbing.” I love looking at the power lines’ graceful arc as they run between pylons. I love standing among the bridges, their huge bolts and girders carrying the weight of trains and vehicles as they travel the city. They are not made for me like the sidewalks and buildings of downtown, or the parks and cafes scattered about. They are challenging unaccessible structures defying easy relation. I feel them beckon. They are lonely in their utility, bored with their purpose. They want to be played upon, to give a stage to those who dare.
Over the past three years Hamilton has worked on a monumental land art performance project involving high wire walking, design, building, and physical training. The sculptures he has worked on concurrently relate directly to this project. An exploration of possibility and structure has always been a staple in his work, but it becomes much more serious when building aerial structures upon which his life depends. Hamilton takes a stance of total responsibility when he becomes engineer designer, fabricator and performer. He must face the fact that he is fallible and that misconceptions on his part can be costly. The work can be summed up as an experiment in possibility, the construction of a bridge connecting idea and intention to action and creation. Kurt Gödel, the influential mathematician and logician, described the impossibility of grasping the absolute, of perfectly bridging the apparent chasm between mind and matter. In his famous Incompleteness Theorems, he stated that we can either generate a theory which is consistent but incomplete, or a theory which is complete but contains contradictions. When life confronts us with a decision, given Gödel’s insight into the limits of our ability to “know,” how do we proceed? We experience the double bind of knowing that any decision which is without loss does not account for possibility and one which accounts for possibility intrinsically leads to confusion. Incompleteness Theorem explores forms and ideas which reflect Gödel’s insight. Using mirrors, steel, and magnets to explore the interaction of invisible force with tangible material, Hamilton investigates paradox and the confusion which arises from a mind that believes itself separate from experiential phenomena.
2015, steel, acrylic, neodymium, 10"h x 1'w x 16'd
2015, steel, nylon, neoprene, aluminum, 70'h x 260'w x 150'd
For the past three years, artist Jamie Hamilton has been engaged in an ambitious multi-disciplinary project of training himself in the art of funambulism while building Amor Fati, a large scale portable sculptural installation of trusses, wire ropes, and nets within which high-wire and other types of performances can occur. Because the artist integrates the roles of designer, fabricator and performer, boundaries of thought and action become porous. Like balancing on the wire, each move informs the next in a complex feedback process that supports subtle ongoing integration of form and concept. For instance, when the artist weaves his own safety net he is not only making formal decisions but taking on a position of total responsibility for his own well-being. The holistic ethos of the project engenders an aesthetic of efficiency, flexibility and grace visible in the structures and movement of Amor Fati. The ongoing self-investigation and transformation of the artist becomes a possibility for the audience both through imaginative identification and actual play on the structures. Built in modular form, with its highest towers reaching 70', Amor Fati is an adaptive, “living” structure such that each installation germinates new potential for the next. The first installation is in a rural meadow in the mountains east of Santa Fe N.M.. Afterwards, the goal is to find settings that offer new artistic challenges in relating to existing architecture/landscape and new possibilities for collaboration with institutions, artists, performers, and varied social groups.
Magnetic Bombing, 2016, steel, neodymium, 10"h x 10"w x 2"d
2012, steel, spandex, nylon, 16'h x 36'w x 24'd
Thanatos is a complex large scale site specific installation which was the centerpiece of a 2012 exhibition held at The Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Energy is stored within the installation in the form of highly tensioned nylon webbing. The nylon straps hold poles erect, suspend forms of steel and fabric, and allow visual rhythms to be held in a state of suspended animation. Hamilton uses this structure of Thanatos and its tactile stored energy as a means to examine the intertwining of creative and destructive potentials.
Eros is a sculptural mechanical exploration of the relationship between lovers. Through its creation and varied installations, Hamilton explores the forces of desire, fear, and their coincidence.
Eros is built of modular parts allowing indefinite forms. When installed, it assumes a static position which represents a configuration, not the fixed and final form of classical sculpture. Eros’s next incarnation will not be a duplicate of the last. A very simple set of wrenches is all that is necessary to accomplish an installation of the sculpture, and a mapping of the parts in a particular installation for future reproduction is never done. Every iteration is a response of the artist using Eros’s parts to build a relationship with one and other and to the new environment.