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

Wex Moments 2018: Film/Video Studio artist Hope Ginsburg


There's always art under construction inside the Wexner Center's Film/Video Studio. As part of our year-in-review coverage, enjoy a peek inside our full-time post-production facility with an artist who has some history with it. Richmond, Virginia-based Hope Ginsburg finished her 2016 video work Land Dive Team: Bay of Fundy with help from the Wex Film/Video Studio and its staff before showing the work in the Wex's video presentation space, The Box, in October of that year. This fall, she was back in the Studio with her latest Wex-supported project, Swirling, a four-channel video installation that captures the processes of underwater coral farming and reef restoration. In the Q&A below, Ginsburg shares a first look at what inspired Swirling and how it fits into her body of work.


You've talked about how central mastering new skills is to your practice and each new body of work. What new skills have you already mastered? Are you currently working on mastering another new skill? How are you drawn to each new skill you take on?


There has always been a research component to the making of my work. This happens through formal and informal apprenticeships or, to put it another way, through relationships and “learning by doing”. The notion of learning through experience was a key element of my pedagogical project Sponge (2006–2016) and sea sponges themselves became a model for knowledge exchange in that work. Motivated by a curiosity to see these muse species alive, I learned to scuba dive, which paved the way to projects including my Land Dive Team body of work and the installation Swirling, which I’ve been editing in the Film/Video studio with collaborators Matt Flowers and Joshua Quarles (pictured above). For Land Dive Team: Amphibious James, a public 2018 performance at the James River, I learned to use a full-face scuba mask outfitted with a communication device so that my fellow Amphibious Dive Team divers and I could transmit live sound from the bottom of the river to the sound mix on shore. For an early work, Bearded Lady (1998–2000), I learned the practice of beekeeping with members of the Connecticut Beekeepers Association so that I could eventually build up a tolerance to bee venom and wear a bee beard. So those are a few past examples.


A large part of the learning that takes place in the making of my work happens in exchange with other people. Very often the making of the work involves participants or collaborators. In this way it is literally a social practice. However, in my early videos Project QVC (1996–1997) and Bearded Lady (1998–2000), those relationships took place off screen and I appeared in the videos alone. Starting in about 2006, I spent a decade working collaboratively on Sponge and the early workshops of Land Dive Team. In Land Dive Team, participants receive “Land Diver” certification for learning to meditate with scuba gear and for orienting to the ecology of a given site. The Land Dive project emerged partially from an interest in returning to video and I am joined by participants in the resulting works. For example, in Land Dive Team: Bay of Fundy (2016), which was also edited at the Wexner Film/Video Studio, I am seated with three divers meditating at the shore of the bay as the incoming Fundy tide rises on our bodies until we are gone. These Land Dive pieces are in a sense participatory performance videos. Swirling is the first multi-channel video installation that I’ve worked on and with its large-scale projections, it creates the illusion of an immersive underwater space. The spatial aspect of this project has inspired an idea for new body of work in which participatory events will be situated within video projection environments. This hybrid of social practice and video is a real glimmer in my eye right now.


The relationship between living and working spaces plays a key role in the Sponge HQ work. Does this concept also take shape in Swirling?


Swirling is shot in The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) underwater coral nurseries and outplant sites in St. Croix. I first saw images of the underwater coral nurseries when my collaborator Matt Flowers, who is also the diver and videographer for this work, began as a volunteer science diver with TNC while living for a year with his family on the island. The images of that ghostly underwater environment, with the spindly white plastic coral “trees” and their swaying coral fragments, immediately attracted me to the process. I was also fascinated by the questions coral farming raises about the ultimate efficacy of this work in the context of climate change. Sponge was a school within a school; it grappled with issues of pedagogy in a very real way but in the context of an artwork, which allowed it to be interpreted with its metaphoric or symbolic aspects. Likewise, the coral restoration process is obviously very real, but it is loaded with symbolic surplus. This particular underwater space is especially suited to posing important questions about human ingenuity and folly, as well as our relationship with other species. This work, which finds humans hovering weightless and inverted at the bottom of the ocean hand-gluing coral fragments to all but obliterated coral reefs, is as hopeful as it is tragic.


How does Swirling work in conversation with the Land Dive projects? Do you see one as a response to the other?


Swirling and the Land Dive Team projects are connected through their shared attention to climate change. They’re also intrinsically linked by concerns with water. In Land Dive Team: Bay of Fundy and Solo Land Dive: Dukan Desert, sea level rise in particular is referenced. And the meditation element in that body of work suggests a way for us to sustain our attention to the realities and anxieties of a radically changing planet. Among other environmental factors, the hard corals of Swirling are threatened by ocean acidification and warming water temperatures. As Land Dive Team focuses on the dynamic between humans and their environment, Swirling foregrounds a relationship between species. It is an example of human willingness to labor on behalf of other species. Or, if one accepts an important repositioning of humans in this troubled equation, it's a laboring with other species for shared survival.

 




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