Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Susan Smith

Second Committee Member

Wayne Hall

Third Committee Member

Owen Smith


I hesitate to name it. The kind of work that I do and the shape(s) it takes has never been one thing. It changes in material and form just as my perception of the world and place within it continues to swell and shift. I listen and think and make and do. I ask for vulnerability from collaborators and audiences alike. I use the body as both research and material. With the information gathered I work both independently and in partnerships creating immersive audio-visual installations as well as relational experiments. In the spirit of hospitality and reciprocity, the viewer is frequently envisioned as an active participant in conceptualizing (and in some cases manifesting) the meaning and material of the work. As a way of “making do with what we’ve got” I tend to use the most accessible materials, equipment, and spaces. I rely heavily on human behavior and identity to contextualize work in both conceptual and concrete ways, which means that most often I engage with intimate communities of friends, lovers, and family. Regardless of the group involved or intended outcome of a particular work, I’m interested in spending time with the invisible matter that comes to life between people once a memory is culled or a new understanding is initiated. Bodies moving through space and time or positioned in subtly altered realities with every day objects allows for an investigation of being in and understanding the world that is entirely unique to the human experience. Pre-recorded audio is frequently utilized as a sort of internal monologue made external inviting audience members to become a part of an ongoing dialogue of wonder that began somewhere else who knows when. Whether working on a project independently or in some variety of collaboration, I am in constant conversation and interplay with other thinkers and tinkerers. Through this work I am seeking methods of engagement with the world that rely on kindness and thoughtfulness in the face of violence and greed, multiple understandings versus absolute truths. In practice I am/we are collectively considering what we think we know and envisioning/co-creating possibilities for meaningful existence in the future.

Included in

Fine Arts Commons