Date of Award

12-2014

Level of Access

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Intermedia

Advisor

Nate Aldrich

Second Committee Member

Owen Smith

Third Committee Member

Greg Ondo

Abstract

My thesis body of work references the pop art sculpture of Oldenburg and his contemporaries. My work seeks to build on the example set by the early pop art sculptors in a way that encompasses the modern "maker mentality" of creative DIY. The idea being that rather than buy what you need in the form of a product constructed for the least amount of money and in the shortest amount of time, building it yourself can provide the creator, a superior product with a smaller carbon footprint and a sense of pride only achievable when something of one's own self is put into the object. The work and accompanying written thesis highlight examples of craftsmanship and attention to detail, and exemplify bringing art out of the gallery and to the general public.

My work is made up of 'semi-functionals' or objects built to serve a purpose for their user/creator, with the visual style of traditional pop art sculpture. These pieces take the form of modern day objects subjectively considered commercialization's lowest common denominator. Disposable goods that my American culture buys, uses to an end, discards, and buys again, the often-low price tag serving as justification, (both monetarily and environmentally) Examples include the plastic toothbrush, the plastic cigarette lighter, a shoelace, etc. To make these objects functional, the toothbrush takes on wheels to be ridden as a skateboard, the lighter is scaled up and used as a fully functioning camp stove. The shoelace is taken to the gym, its bulk acting as a jump rope. A disposable coffee creamer becomes a water cooler.

Use of these objects in public spaces draw attention to traditional manufacturing and distribution practices, while at the same time offering insight to new alternative methods popularized and advanced by the current Maker Movement.

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