Date of Award
Level of Access
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Owen F. Smith
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
In 1906 Ernst Jentsch first considered the idea of the uncanny in his essay, On the Psychology of the Uncanny in which he wrote, "The production of the uncanny can indeed be attempted in true art, by the way, but only with exclusively artistic means and artistic intention". Jentsch's essay introducing an exploration of the experience and psychology of the uncanny was later followed by Sigmund Freud's influential essay The Uncanny from 1919 in which he felt "impelled to engage in aesthetic investigations, even when aesthetics is not restricted to the theory of beauty, but described as relating to the qualities of our feeling". These ideas of the uncanny paired with a consideration the influence of fiction on life experiences has expanded and led to the formation of a research method and practice presented in this thesis that looks at how created uncanny spaces are experienced. The research presented here describes a method of research that begins with observation of a space and experience followed by a review of literary sources from multiple disciplines including psychology, philosophy, cultural anthropology, literature and visual arts leading to the formation of the question of how uncanny spaces are perceived and results in a creative practice that produces an intermedial work. In particular of this thesis project, the research presented here looks at the the idea of how one perceives a space that hinders sight and emphasizes sound based on a similar experience I had when immersed in a dense winter fog. After researching qualities of uncanny spaces similar to the one experienced through the means explained above and through experimentation, the result was realized through the construction of an installation space that uses audio to direct the experience.
Engstrom, Bethany, "Encountered Spaces: The Perception of the Uncomfortably Strange in the 21st Century" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1645.
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