2007 Senior Theses
Remaking Self-Portraits of the Female Artist at Work Abstract
This thesis consists of two parts, in addition to ten paintings. The first part discusses the Early Modern historical context of women’s self-portraiture in which I situate my works. During the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the social standing of art and artists underwent dramatic revision, resulting in the elevation of painting from the level of craft to fine art, and the advancement of artists from their status as laborers to skilled intellectuals. Reappraisal of the artist’s bodily involvement in his work enabled a handful of women to pursue, within limits, respectable and prosperous careers. Self-portraits produced by these women convey contemporary tensions between the typically mutually exclusive categories of woman and artist, mind and body, art and craft, especially those paintings depicting artists in the act of creation. The second part of this thesis examines each of my ten paintings individually, beginning with a reading of the self-portrait that prompted my “re-creation,” discussing its influences, and then relating it specifically to my own painting process.
Seizing and rending the veil of smoke that Man calls “Order”: a bit of glitter on the mountain of knowledge Abstract
This thesis seeks to use art to confront constructions of the sexed self while considering deconstruction, queer theory, and feminist thinkers who redirect critical attention to the gaps between established binaries and normative positions.
Means and Ends: Experiments with Media: Engaging "the human war" Abstract
This thesis investigates themes of postcolonialism and mass media, modern indifference to war, and Ethan’s first-hand documentation of the Darfur genocide.
In Service of Commerce Abstract
My thesis show, “In Service of Commerce” is an installation art show that addresses commercial spaces and seeks to deconstruct methods of spatial manipulation of the viewer. The work recreates aspects of the commercial setting to illustrate how these spaces control the body. In the written portion I will discuss the art, theory and experiences that shaped my installation sculpture. I intend to talk about my thesis as a succession of ideas that changed and developed over time.
Research Art: Understanding Intelligence Through a Machine Abstract
This thesis, and the work of art that goes along with it were developed in tandem. The ideas which I construct begin to take shape within the artwork. My motivation in generating this work has been a drive to understand intelligence. The questions of how we think, what we think and why we think certain things have been around for ages. It may be these questions which originally lead to the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Rarely does anyone attempt to question the intelligence itself.
AI research is where I chose to develop my ideas. Through the creation of a human-like intelligence, we can truly begin to understand how we work. However, the rigid boundaries of academia not only separate ideas and methods of approach, but they limit our abilities to move forward in many situations. My work strives to bridge the gap between the realms of Art and Science strengthening both with the positive qualities of the other, in order that we might broaden our understanding of those realms of study.
The work attempts to problematize Alan Turing’s approach to AI. It represents a simulation of intelligence, mimicking also a third party in the relationship between the artist and the viewer in relation to the artwork. The piece represents the beginning of the development of an entity with a fundamental approach and opens the door for evolution of this intelligence with further artwork.
We Are All Here Now: Presence in Contemporary Photography and New Media Abstract
This thesis addresses the issues directly involved with the photographic image and its ever growing exhibition in various realms of Western society, from its role in advertising and editorial communication to fine art. Specifically, I am concerned with representations of the human form and how portraiture has developed via an art historical perspective to its present manifestation in photography and new media, such as digital imaging and video. With the technological advancements and democratization of image making and its reproduction, we are living in a world where photographic representation holds a very real position in one’s everyday existence. While this visual culture is stimulating, it is also alienating, given portraiture’s capacity to delineate the viewer as the Other relative to the portrayed subject. Through examples of both traditional oil painted portraits and contemporary photography, this thesis examines the spectator/subject relationship and the subsequent dislocation in space and time of the viewer as the Other.
Later I turn to my own work, We Are All Here Now (2007), and look at how photography in tandem with video in the context of an installation space can possess the reciprocal capacity of coming to terms with the estranging characteristics portraiture traditionally establishes between the spectator and the subject. By deploying two of the most prevalent mediums of our image-inundated social environment I attempt not only to evoke an awareness of our constant self-constitution as relative Others, but also deconstruct this barrier. We Are All Here Now creates new terms for relating to images through a concentration on the gaze and its continuation through time, eventually relocating both the spectator and the subject in an ambiguous space where all such definitions fail to apply. Through a discrediting of the spectator/subject distinction, the viewer is returned to a self-consciousness critical in contemporary visual culture where alienation from the present moment is all too abundant.
Disjunction and Cohesion: The Strange Frontier of Narrative Abstract
This thesis project was pursued with two results. One is a collection of photographic artwork. The other is an extension of the art’s content. What you find on these pages is a discussion of issues present in the artwork. This component is an attempt to articulate with written text, ways of understanding these visual texts. Non-traditional narrative is central to both. The art featured in this text addresses issues of the individual image in sequence, memory, and alternative narratives.
Murals and Street Art: the Aesthetics of Community and Rebellion Abstract
The topic of this thesis is painting walls as an act of community-affirming rebellion. The aim of this project is to present wall painting as an interactive alternative to the idea of art as an isolated, intellectual act.
Red Vessel Abstract
Red Vessel is a scroll about an island made on a Cintiq Wacom tablet to explore the possibilities of that format and a certain strange problem.