A Pākehā (white person from Aotearoa New Zealand) with a brown-haired bowl cut and a braided rats tale wearing a soft pink sweatshirt with a baggy collar standing in from of a black curtain, mildly smiling into space just off-camera.

Sam Tam Ham

Portland, OR

Sam Ham Tam (Sam Hamilton), Pāhehā (white person from Aotearoa New Zealand), is an independent interdisciplinary artist and creative researcher from Aotearoa New Zealand, based in so-called Oregon, USA. Their practice functions more like an ecology than a discipline. A modular complex of interweaving creative, critical, material, methodological, magical, experiential, contextual, social, and political lines of inquiry.

a confluence

a nebula

a garden

a long song

Outputs and engagements have included such things as a months-long sound art research project in the Amazon; producing experimental 16mm feature-length artist films about the influence of astronomy on the evolution of human agency; conducting intergenerational rituals of undoing at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich, London; recording inside an active volcano crater; teaching youth choirs how to sing like the ocean; filming asteroid showers at a remote high-plain desert astrophysics observatory; collaborating with dancer and chief Ioane Papali’i in Sāmoa; making huge monochromatic gold paintings of gardens; running several DIY experimental sound and film festivals; plus some 15-years of making sound in Greek squats, Arizona punk spaces, underground parking lots, nightclubs, forests, deserts, infinite house shows, museums, 1 swimming pool, 2 weddings, and a palace banquet hall. They have presented their work at Whitechapel Gallery in London, Issue Transmediale in Berlin, Project Room in New York, The Portland Art Museum, Dockfest in Germany, ARTSPACE Aotearoa in New Zealand, Locust Works in Miami and more. Hamilton also spent 10-years touring as composer/sound designer for the acclaimed Lemi Ponifasio MAU Dance Company, performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Ruhrtriannale, and much more.

Te Moana Meridian

Sam Tam Ham (Sam Hamilton) is an interdisciplinary artist and creative researcher from Aotearoa New Zealand based in Portland, Oregon, whose practice functions more like an ecology than a discipline.

Artist Bio

Te Moana Meridian is a sweeping interdisciplinary collaborative art project and experimental opera designed to function as a creative Trojan Horse for delivering a bona fide proposal to the United Nations (and the world at large) to pass a new General Assembly Draft Resolution to formally relocate the international Prime Meridian from Greenwich, England to its antipodean coordinates in Te Moananui-ā-Kiwa— the South Pacific Ocean. A Prime Meridian anchored in the ocean, as physically and metaphysically removed from Greenwich as possible; no longer implicitly subjugating humanity’s collective means of orientating universal time and space to the hegemonic ambitions of Western imperialism. A Prime Meridian that’s free to fulfill its promised potential as the relational Axis Mundi of a genuinely equitable global commons. Te Moana Meridian is created and directed by Sam Tam Ham (Sam Hamilton) in collaboration with singers Holland Andrews and Mere Tokotahi Boynton, dance artist Dr. Tru Paraha, designer Clara Chon, visual artist Vaimaila Urale, and a local 40-piece youth choir among many others.

Award Year

In Progress