Catalogues and Exhibition Texts – click thumbnails to read

Sarah Howard

"Sponge Exchange, Hope Ginsburg" (exhibition text)

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, 2020

Denise Markonish
"Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder" (excerpt from catalog essay)
MASS MoCA, 2016
pp. 50–51

Jennifer Lange
"Land Dive Team: Bay of Fundy" (exhibition text)
THE BOX, Wexner Center for the Arts, 2016

Sarah Demeuse
"Weather Permitting" (catalog entry)
9th Mercosul Biennial, 2013
pp. 308–311

Regine Basha
"Hope Ginsburg" (catalog essay)
CUE Art Foundation, 2011
pp. 6–7

Emily Sessions
"Hope Ginsburg" (catalog essay)
CUE Art Foundation, 2011
pp. 21–25

Jennifer Kollar
"Factory Direct: New Haven" (catalog entry)
Artspace, 2005

Helen Molesworth
"Work Ethic" (catalog entry)
Baltimore Museum of Art, 2003
pp. 147–148

Larissa Harris
"Heart of Gold" (excerpt from catalog essay)
PS1, 2002
pp. 3–5

Omer Fast
"Fido Television" (excerpt from catalog essay)
Hunter College Times Square Art Gallery, 2000

Books – click thumbnails to read

Sarah Urist Green

"You Are An Artist: Assignments to Spark Creation"

Penguin Books, 2020

pp. 239–232

Corina L. Apostol and Nato Thompson, Editors

"Making Another World Possible: 10 Creative Time Summits, 10 Global Issues, 100 Art Projects"

Routledge, 2020

pp. 277–278

Akiko Busch

"How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency"

Penguin Books, 2019

pp. 199–200

Articles and Reviews – click thumbnails to read

Antonia S. Krueger

"Art for a Warming World: Sponge Exchange and Flood Zone"

Creative Pinellas

February 19, 2020

Emma Colón
"5 Artists Bridging Communities Across Difference"
A Blade of Grass Magazine
March 28, 2019

Leila Ugincius
"Optimistic and Tragic: A Glimpse of Coral Restoration"
VCU News
March 26, 2019

Sydney Cologie and Brynne McGregor
"Wex Moments 2018: Film/Video Studio artist Hope Ginsburg" (Q&A)
Wexner Center for the Arts
December 26, 2018

Tim Dodson
"Performative Diving Piece Featured at Festival Honoring the James River"
Richmond Times-Dispatch
June 9, 2018

Karen Newton
"Deep Dive: Artist Hope Ginsburg Becomes One with the Sea"
Style Weekly, June 2018

Jessica Lynne
"From Climate Change to Race Relations, Artists Respond to Richmond, VA" (review)
Hyperallergic, 2015

Lauren O'Neill-Butler
"Hope Ginsburg CUE Art Foundation" (review)
Artforum, Summer 2011

Gary Robertson

"Art Students Find Inspiration in the Lab"

VCU News Center, 2010

T.J. Demos
"Work Ethic" (review)
Artforum, February 2004

Videos – click thumbnails to view

Land Dive Team: Amphibious James

Television Program is a Production of VPM

Producer/Director: Mason Mills

Producer/Field Director: Allison Benedict

September 22, 2019

Conjure a Studio – Hope Ginsburg
The Art Assignment
PBS Digital Studios, 2016

The Art of Pedagogy – Hope Ginsburg
Creative Time Summit
Biennale Arte, 2015

Art and Education in the 21st Century
Panelists: John Brown-Executive Director, Windgate Foundation; Tom Finkelpearl-Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; Hope Ginsburg-Artist and Educator; Moderator: Geoffrey Cowan- President, The Annenberg Foundation Trust
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 2014

Hope Ginsburg + United States Surgical


Exploring practices traditionally considered outside the realm of artistic production, Hope Ginsburg challenges conventional notions of what constitutes art making. Mining for sites where creativity emerges in everyday life, Ginsburg is inspired by the distinct aesthetic sensibilities created and perpetuated within various professional domains. Research, participant-observation, documentation and production are components of Ginsburg’s work. In Project QVC, she documented transformative cosmetic makeovers and a series of auditions that led to her becoming a semi-finalist in the television network’s search for a program host. For Bearded Lady, she apprenticed with a beekeeper. The project culminated in the production and marketing of her own brand of honey, and the performance of a traditional bee beard. Temporarily inhabiting the environment, and experimenting with the materials and products of an adopted trade, Ginsburg paraphrases both formal and informal techniques, customs, and aesthetic practices cultivated within a particular sphere of production. Her work with U.S. Surgical investigated unofficial moments of individualized creation that coincide with the official and collective manufacture of surgical tools. The artist discovered and followed the initiative of several employees who transformed everyday, utilitarian company products into personalized and unique objects for display and consideration in their own workspaces.


Like artists’ studios, factories are usually messy places: bustling hands get dirty making things; drips and scraps fall to the floor. Appropriately, black greasy dirt, discarded shavings, dust bunnies and grimy fingerprints appeared in factories participating in Factory Direct. U.S. Surgical was quite the exception. While many of the surgical devices they produce bear an uncanny resemblance to artists tools, a tour of the manufacturing plant revealed a facility cleaner, perhaps, than the operating rooms where their products are used.


U.S. Surgical, a division of Tyco Healthcare, is located on a sixty-acre campus in North Haven, Connecticut. To enter the production floors–referred to as Clean Rooms–one must first be processed in the Gowning Rooms. Here, visitors scrub their hands with antibacterial soap, wrap in isolation gowns, don puffy caps and large plastic goggles, and have dust particulate removed via air jets installed in the connecting Blow-off Rooms.


The effect of first seeing the facility in action can be likened to Charlie Bucket’s visit to the Wonka Factory. The place is immense, and the door to each room opens into an entirely new world. Workers, shrouded identically in Clean Room uniforms, attend to oversized chemistry sets and magnificent machines that hum, buzz, gurgle, swoosh, chop, split and twirl. In this seemingly magical, surreal atmosphere, however, the serious science, innovative engineering, and assembly of advanced surgical technology is underway.


U.S. Surgical is a pioneering manufacturer of wound closure products and surgical devices. The company provides tools that reduce required time for surgery, anesthesia, hospital stay, and healing, in turn helping prevent post-operative complications. A few of their leading products include surgical needles, sutures, and staplers. Their plastic surgery needle resembles a curved upholstery needle the size of a single lower eyelash. Its almost microscopic size and its tapering diameter reduce tissue trauma and scarring. The sutures–think stitches–are available in a variety of thicknesses, and dissolve over different time intervals, depending on the healing needs of a particular organ or procedure. Plastic laparoscopic staplers are available in a wide variety of models, resembling canvas pullers and industrial staplers. Doctors insert the devices into the body through a narrow tube and see clearly their magnified handiwork on overhead video monitors. These lightweight, disposable staplers require single-hand operation and a smaller incision; their 1908 predecessor weighed eight pounds and took two hours to load!

Jennifer Kollar
"Factory Direct: New Haven" (catalog entry)
Artspace, 2005