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Ann Hamilton


Location: near Epstein Family Amphitheater, between Russel Lane and the Central Trolley Station

"KAHNOP" by Ann Hamilton, with Stuart Collection graphic logo on top


An 800-foot-long stone path of words, KAHNOP • TO TELL A STORY is the 22nd public artwork commissioned by the Stuart Collection at UC San Diego. The work was built in conjunction with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System’s (MTS) extension of the Mid-Coast Trolley line north of the University campus.

The text for the UC San Diego walkway draws from the writing of authors and scholars with ties to the University and its history. Organized by a spine of keywords composed by Ann Hamilton, this concordance of documents weaves together threads of thinking from many different disciplines.

The piece was built line by line, rather than as a singular continuous narrative, and yet clear themes emerge and recur throughout the 1,300-line composition. The threshold between land and water, particularly California and the Pacific Ocean, is made present, as is an attention to the micro world of particles and atoms and the macro world of the cosmos and protoplanets.

Themes of social justice and revolution, environmental activism, technological advancement, and cultural mythology are punctuated by the words of poets affiliated with UC San Diego’s Archive for New Poetry.

A feminist narrative transcribed by two Kumeyaay scholars exists in bands situated at a regular interval throughout the entire length of the piece, creating its own cadence and rhythm within the larger whole. These juxtapositions form a field of text and an infinite number of paths to be composed and recomposed every time someone walks its surface.

For more information about KAHNOP • TO TELL A STORY please see the UC San Diego Library KAHNOP • TO TELL A STORY website, a searchable database with references and source material for each line of text.

About Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton is internationally acclaimed for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Her process works in response to the architecture, social histories, and poetic associations of spaces, creating vast, immersive installations often noted for the sensory surrounds of their materials. Born in Lima, Ohio, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara, and since 2001 has been a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Bienal, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.