View of “Ann Hamilton,” 2010.

Ann Hamilton

Pulitzer Arts Foundation

View of “Ann Hamilton,” 2010.

This past summer Ann Hamilton installed stylus, 2010, a single, institution-spanning, multipart work at the Pulitizer Foundation for the Arts (where it remains on view through January 22). In so doing, she carried on the engagement with the topos of communication—textual, vocal, aural, recorded—that has grounded much of her work. But while stylus has the distinction of being Hamilton’s most interactive project to date, offering viewers multiple points of ingress and opportunities for participation, the resulting exchanges remain profoundly elusive. Interaction is invited, but rewards are deferred; and the connections among the show’s constituent parts and with the viewer are extremely attenuated, such that stylus testifies not so much to the inevitability of human communication but to its precariousness.

One encounters stylus even before entering the Pulitzer’s Tadao

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