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18 organ drone performance

Sam Hamilton’s Biography

Last Updated:
11/11/2020, 4:23 pm
Musician and Artist
New Generation 2011
Hamilton’s broad practice has involved producing a feature-length experimental artist film; conducting months-long sound art research projects in the Amazon rainforest; touring the world with the Lemi Ponifasio / MAU Dance Company, and creating environmental choir performances, giant monochromatic gold paintings, and trying to get the United Nations General Assembly to draft weird but future defining project resolutions.

Sam Hamilton was born 1984 in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Although currently based in the US, Hamilton still regularly works on projects and exhibitions in Aotearoa New Zealand, and which still plays a central role in the work they produce.

Their interdisciplinary practice functions more like an ecology than a discipline. A creatively and critically nurturing nebula of interweaving material, methodological, phenomenological, intercontextual inquiry. A modular complex of networked transmogrifies where neither theoretical nor practical knowledge is inhibited by disciplinary division.

A confluence

A garden

A song

Hamilton has been a full-time practicing and working artist since 2006, having maintained constantly active producing and presented work within and across many multiple creative, cultural, and professional contexts in Aotearoa, Australia, North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Their work has been presented, among many other places, at Whitechapel Gallery (London), ISSUE Project Room (NYC), ARTSPACE (NZ), Locust Project (Miami), Extrapool (Netherlands), The Center of Contemporary Art & Culture (USA), St Paul St Gallery (NZ), TSB Wallace Arts Center (NZ), Dokfest (Germany), Dunedin Public Art Gallery (NZ), the NZ International Film Festival (NZ), Wellington City Gallery (NZ), Brick Bay Sculpture Park (NZ), and was the subject of a 6-month solo exhibition at the Portland Art Museum (US).

For much of the last decade, Hamilton was a creative member of the internationally acclaimed Lemi Ponifasio / MAU Dance Company, helping produce and perform major stage works at the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi (UAE), Brooklyn Academy of Music (US), Berliner Festspiele (Germany), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Onassis Center (Greece), Luminato (Canada), Ruhrtriannale (Germany) the Unesco HQ (France), the New Zealand Festival (NZ) and much more.

Between 2005 - 2011 Hamilton created, directed and managed the FPS Live Cinema Programme for the Auckland International Film Festival, created with Phil Dadson, as well as the independent DIY artist festivals: the Alleluya Noise Festival, the Cinema Ascension Festival, the Feel Good Things Festival, and numerous other creative community projects and events across Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Highlights of their work include the APPLE PIE, a feature-length artist film produced on 16mm over 4 years in Aotearoa, Sāmoa, and the US with support from CNZ, the Wallace Arts Trust, and CIRCUIT Artist Film & Video; Everyday for 30 years, Nancy sat out on the street corner and watched the sunset, a film installation exploring the intersection of contemporary culture and astronomical observation; This is a choir, an experimental choral performance work rendering the natural work into choral music; Dear Kenny G, first in a series of text-based paintings; Standard Value Metrics, a massive 3x panel monochromatic depiction of a rejuvenated garden space; Integrifolia, a full-length LP record of experimental pop music; and the live electronic sound composition for the MAU Dance Company stage work Stones in Her Mouth

Sam Hamilton received an Arts Foundation New Generation Award in 2011. New Generation artists are the hotshots, the ones to watch, and the ones that have an X-factor that demonstrates assured potential.