Would you like to swing on a star? Carry moonbeams home in a jar? Well, you could have enjoyed a swinging time at the recent large-scale installation ‘The Event of a Thread’ by visual artist Ann Hamilton at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. The multi-sensory interactive piece was Ohio born Hamilton’s first large-scale project in New York City in over a decade. The Event of a Thread weaves together Hamilton’s exploration of time-based performance, the act of public speaking and the poetic accumulation of material for which she is best known.

At the centre of the installation was a field of 42 swings suspended from the hall’s wrought iron structural trusses connected via ropes and pulleys to a massive cloth that bisects the space and transforms and moved by the people swinging and taking part. During the exhibition, a succession of readers, two at a time, read aloud whilst seated at a table near the hall’s entrance. Their live voices became a constant presence broadcast throughout the installation on a radio bandwidth, heard via radios inside brown paper bags. On the opposite side sat a writer will inscribe a response to the radio transmissions, there was even pigeons that were caged and released at the end of each day.

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