Date of Award

12-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Visual Arts

Advisor

Detrich, David

Committee Member

Feeser , Andrea

Committee Member

Hung , Christina

Abstract

We are all products of our environments and simultaneously have the ability to shape and change those environments. Physical environments obviously influence how we perceive and understand ourselves in relation to our surroundings, but non-physical environments have an ever-increasing effect as well. Changing technologies and increased use of online networks pose new questions about how we understand and relate to the settings we inhabit. Inspired by the work of Sherry Turkle, my work examines the tension in the transition many people experience as they incorporate more internet-ready, globally connected technology into their daily lives. I examine the intersection between virtual and physical spaces. My work focuses on the advantages and disadvantages, specifically as seen through the lens of the other, looking for new perspectives concerning our roles as we occupy each simultaneously.
Materially, I draw from found objects and unscripted recorded observations to describe physical spaces I've encountered, as well as utilizing technological possibilities for describing virtual environments. The collision of the physical and non-physical made manifest in large-scale installations creates hybrid virtual/tangible environments. Viewers of these environments are made aware of their presence in relationship to the work though layers of sensory stimuli and are often offered interactive possibilities to explore. This experience creates new knowledge about our increasingly multilayered society.

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