Humanities Institute

Visiting Artists in Health Humanities

Celebrating "Healing Touch" through Art and Storytelling

 Ann Hamilton, O N E E V E R Y O N E, 2017. Photo by Paul Bardagjy.

Landmarks, Austin's Backyard Story Night, Dell Medical School, and the Humanities Institute are partnering to present an evening of stories centered around the theme "Healing Touch".

Landmarks, the public art program of The University of Texas at Austin, commissioned artist Ann Hamilton to create a series of photographs that illustrate touch, something we typically feel rather than see. The project is framed around the idea that human touch is the most essential means of contact and a fundamental expression of physical and emotional care. The larger than life enamel panels are installed in the new buildings at Dell Med and will serve as a backdrop for the evening of stories. For more information about Hamilton's work, visit the project's website. 

This event celebrates the human exchanges present in both public art and healthcare and the important roles both play in the Austin community, with stories that illustrate this theme from various perspectives, both within and outside of the medical field.

Visit our events page for more information on this and other upcoming Health Humanities events.


O N E E V E R Y O N E by Ann Hamilton

An internationally recognized visual artist, Ann Hamilton is known for her large installations and public projects which concentrate on the senses.  She attended the University of Kansas and Yale School of Art, where she was trained in textile design and sculpture. Over the span of her career, Hamilton has received awards such as the MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, and the National Medal of the Arts.

Commissioned by Landmarks for the Dell Medical School, O N E E V E R Y O N E is a public art project by Ann Hamilton which is framed by the idea that human touch and intimacy are the most essential means of contact and the fundamental expression of physical care. More than 500 participants in several Austin locations were photographed through a semi-transparent membrane that sharply focused parts of the body that made contact with the material and softly blurred the parts that moved away from it. The optical quality of the material renders touch—something felt, more than seen—visible. 

Ann Hamilton Panel DiscussionIn January 2017, the Humanities Institute co-sponsored O N E E V E R Y O N E: A Conversation with Ann Hamilton, which featured readings by Brian Rotman, an expert in semiotics and the cultural studies of mathematics, and Natalie Shaperio, a poet, as well as a discussion with Ann Hamilton led by Pauline Strong, Director of the Humanities Institute. The Humanities Institute also hosted Ann Hamilton at its Faculty Fellows Seminar on "Health, Well-Being, Healing" on January 26, 2017. Readers may learn more about the seminar discussion with Ann Hamilton by visiting the HI blog Thinking in Community.

Landmarks also hosted additional public events, in partnership with the Visual Arts Center and Dell Medical School, to celebrate the opening of O N E E V E R Y O N E by Ann Hamilton.

In the above video, Ann Hamilton reflects on the importance and effect of touch, the process by which she arrived at the photographic images that comprise O N E E V E R Y O N E, and the questions that guide the work.

Members of the public can download and explore Hamilton's images on her website

Landmarks Features: Ann Hamilton with the Humanities Institute

Excerpt from "Patience" by Matthew Goulish, Dramaturge in response to O N E E V E R Y O N E

"The light increasing  the sun must be rising. It reveals the window as frosted over. Wood muntined, with four small panes, it resembles a house window more than a hospital window. What is it doing in this hall where he lies on a stretcher outside the fulltocapacity ward? He thinks this unfolding in time of the window growing lighter is beautiful, is beauty itself. Yet no one notices. Who can afford the patience? The doctors circulate on appointed rounds, stopping only for the sick and wounded. Is attention to something like this window the work of artists? He does not know the answer to that yet, but he thinks that only artists and sick people stop, out of inclination or necessity, to study beauty that takes so long. The hospital staff has materialized this moment for him, all its factors of time, place, and breath."

Matthew Goulish's full length essay was written in response to Hamiltons O N E E V E R Y O N E. The full length essay can be found here.

Excerpt from "Five Variations on the Opposite of Any Handprint" by Natalie Shapero, Poet in response to O N E E V E R Y O N E

"In medicine, guidelines as to best practices often emerge from the lessons of history. To take in what has happened. To prevent what has happened from happening again. Teaching a student about the transmission of infection from one body to another, the instructor asks the student to press one unwashed hand onto the agar plate and lift it up again, then wait. Days pass. What appears is tiny marks on the surface of the agar, formed into the silhouette of a hand." 

Natalie Shapero is Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University. Her full length essay was delivered on January 26 at 7pm in the LBJ Auditorium at our event, co-sponsored with Landmarks, O N E E V E R Y O N E: A Conversation with Ann Hamilton.” The full essay can also be found here.

In addition to the images currently on exhibit in the Visual Arts Center and at Dell Medical School, Landmarks produced a Newspaper for O N E E V E R Y O N E with essays by Laurel Braitman, Matthew Ghoulish, Kris Paulsen, Nancy Princenthal, Brian Rotman, Natalie Shapero, Meg Shevenock, and Kathleen Stewart. A website with an overview of the project, downloadable images, and author texts can be found at

Selections from O N E E V E R Y O N E

Rafael Campo, M.D.

Dr. Rafael Campo, a poet and essayist who teaches and practices internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, came to Austin for a series of events from April 20th to April 21st, 2017. A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Campo currently resides in Boston, where his medical practice serves mostly Latinos, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgendered people, and people with HIV infection. Dr. Campo is also on the faculty of Lesley University's Creative Writing MFA Program, and he is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, a National Poetry Series award, and a Lambda Literary Award for his poetry. 

The Humanities Institute co-sponsored with the Texas Institute for Literary and Textual Studies (TILTS) Dr. Campo's lecture "Training the Eye, Hearing the Heart: Art, Poetry, Healing," (above) which he delivered on Friday, April 21st at 7PM in the Avaya Auditorium on campus. The lecture was well attended, and the audience included humanities faculty, students, and staff, as well as faculty and students from Dell Medical School and other professional schools. 

TILTS also hosted a poetry reading with Dr. Campo in the Atrium of the Blanton Museum on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at noon.


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