Date of Award

12-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Visual Arts

Advisor

Cross, Sydney A

Committee Member

Hung , Christina

Committee Member

Thum , Kathleen

Abstract

My prints explore the prevalence of the Internet in contemporary culture and how online communication has affected maturation and an individual's growing perception and representation of self. By combining commonly used Internet jargon and a traditional alphabet flashcard motif, I have created an Alphabet Series that allows me to draw comparison between online and offline spaces, as well as to describe the way in which the Internet as a social tool has changed communication mutually across the digital and actual realms. Using the most popular social media websites for North American adolescents as a reference, I have explored the way new media tools have changed the newest generation's concept of space, time, and community. The prints that compose the series vacillate between conveying the use of the Internet for basic communicative needs and representing the side of the online realm that is bent on garnering attention through any means necessary. The protagonist of the series, a young, female avatar, undergoes a loss of innocence as the series progresses, underlying the real-world consequences of online harassment in an easily noticeable way. As the Alphabet Series illustrates, interactions in the virtual realm do have meaning and consequence: they are a reflection, not only of all of us as individuals, but as a society. This needs to be taken into account, not only in our actions online, but in the way we continue to approach communication in the virtual realm.

Included in

Fine Arts Commons

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