Kevin Hamilton is a Professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he holds appointments in the School of Art and Design and the program in Media and Cinema Studies, and serves as Senior Associate Dean in the College of Fine and Applied Arts.
Working in collaborative and cross-disciplinary modes, Kevin produces artworks, archives, and scholarship on such subjects as race and space, public memory, history of technology, and state violence. His articles with Ned O’Gorman on Air Force film production have appeared in Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Visual Culture, and Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies. Their book-in-progress and accompanying digital archive traces the history of the Air Force’s most famous film unit, Lookout Mountain Laboratory, from 1948 through 1969. At Illinois Kevin also co-directs the Center for People and Infrastructures, an effort currently focused on the ethics and civics of algorithmic culture through research, design, and outreach. Kevin’s artworks in digital form have appeared in Rhizome, Turbulence, Neural, and the ASPECT DVD series. Recognition for his work has included grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, presentation at conferences across Europe and North America (ISEA/ DEAF/CAA/NCA/ACM-SIGCHI), publication in edited journals and anthologies (Routledge/CCCS/Palm Press/UCLA), and invited residencies (Banff/USC-IML/Bratislava.
As an educator, administrator, and researcher, Kevin is focused on integration of practice-based, historical and theoretical approaches to learning about technological mediation. This work has included the development of several interdisciplinary project-based courses, workshops, and initiatives for students and faculty from the sciences, arts and humanities, with emphases on prototyping, reflection, and methodologies of collaboration.
About Complex Fields
I am an artist trained in materially-based craft traditions – painting, drawing, photography. I’ve since exchanged these sets of constraints for others; in fact, my work is constantly in search of new constraints.
This pursuit has taken me through multiple disciplines and forms. I’ve rarely stopped along the way to explore a particular medium or context for long. Only recently have I begun to recognize this path as potentially right and intentional, rather than as a weakness and a fault.
I’ve decided to cautiously explore a deliberately “unfixed” approach to the question of where the fruits of my labor should live in the world. To me, “unfixed” implies the potential for an eventual or momentary fix or fit. To remain unfixed isn’t to refute the potential goodness of stasis or landing – fixation is inevitable, but some of us have the privilege of choosing where to stop the process.
In the end I’m not interested in pushing any one area or field “forward.” I do, however, believe in the necessity of imagining a particular audience and a particular field of reference in order to bring a project to some degree of resolution. I’m also interested in what happens when the inhabitants and supporters of one field are confronted with the approaches or even the mere existence of another.
Complex Fields is a good way of describing how I seek to let my projects land in multiple and simultaneous settings and audiences.
Complex Fields is also the name of an outdoor athletic field facility near my home and work.
Competitive sports never took for me, though I was always told they would be good for my mind.