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Thesis Paper

MFA Thesis Paper

My MFA Thesis Paper with $5 Binding at Kinkos

A Stack of Books about new media art and critical theory

Some resources

My thesis paper is finally complete!  It was not without challenges as I tried to synthesize a large amount of information and a wide range of topics into 35 pages.  While a lot of people scoff at the idea of a written portion of a thesis project for an art degree, writing has always been a way for me to organize my thoughts so this was helpful for me as an artist.  Most of the ideas in the paper I have been blogging about or will blog about anyway, but if you have trouble sleeping e-mail me and I will send you the entire document…

I am going to submit my paper and then to the final installment of Launch: MFA Thesis Exhibitions.  This will be my last official event as a graduate student.  Tonight, champagne!

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Common Threads

My MFA thesis will be continued work on this project that began last summer at Joshua Tree, which is tentatively (and somewhat arbitrarily) named Solgonda.  Above are a few images from a recent exhibition at 840 Gallery at DAAP.  I had intended to shift gears after this show, but I found that I could not stop working on this thing. Instead, I am hoping to present the ever-growing project in a larger format (projection or larger screen or screens) in the spring as a more varied investigation of the visual language of photography, digital art, and science. Everything begins with photography but I am using HTML, PHP, and javascript, to create interactive music and visuals, and exploring themes including:

  • art as information
  • information as art
  • information and code
  • images as code
  • systems of organization and categorization
  • language systems
  • networks
  • buildings
  • clues and puzzles
  • magic and mystery
  • artifacts
  • geology and landscape
  • history
  • wonder (vs. alienation)
  • Simulacra
  • Archive as art
  • Collecting as destruction or preservation
  • Image making as collecting
  • Visual Anthropology
  • ethnography

This list arose as I attempted to find some common threads or links between my last paintings of boxes and the accompanying interactive web project, mintabox.com, and my current research which came out of the Joshua Tree trip but continues to evolve.

Even though I am working a lot with the computer lately, I still think of myself as a painter. Now I am creating interactive paintings. I am also working on a series of 10″ x 10″ static paintings and art objects which I am hoping to show with this project or shortly thereafter. These came about during bouts of occasional frustration with code, which gave rise to an accompanying need to do something physical. They are also round-about solutions to the challenges of commodifying internet art. I will post some images of those soon.

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The Obsolesence of Boxes

Gray-Blue Steel Box with Art Deco Hinge

Some thoughts about the increasing obsolescence of small physical storage boxes.  I know obsolescence is a strong word, and yes, Ikea probably sells thousands and thousands of these kinds of boxes which are made to look old.  However, there is no question that the majority of photographs and documents in our world have moved into the no-space of the internet.  Our world is less and less physical.  Donna Haraway makes my claims seem pretty humble by suggesting that “even bodies themselves may become irrelevant” (Cyborg Manifesto).

  • boxes are becoming obsolete as our world and our methods of archiving move away from the physical and into the digital realm
  • the increasing obsolescence of these particular kinds of small wooden and metal boxes is curious since photographs, documents, and letters, objects that are strongly associated with feelings of sentimentality and nostalgia, are the most important sociological phenomena of human history, while
  • the functionality of other types of boxes that are associated with more banal expressions of our physical existence (such as the refrigerator for food) endure
  • the internet has usurped small boxes as the new repository of emotional relics
  • perhaps a lack of physical evidence for our emotions creates anxiety and an ever-increasing need to share more
  • an embrace of the box as an expression of opposition to the new simulacra of human experience
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