Non/Disclosure: Documentation and Participant Observation as Hybrid, Nonfiction, Artistic Research Methodology for Ethnographic Media Production, Contemplative Discovery, Social Practice and Catharsis
Date of Award
Level of Access
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Owen F. Smith
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
As if presaged by the physical, fine and philosophical arts that preceded it, the amelioration to the process of documenting the wonted human existence, political strife, and sundry cultural phenomena through the neo-normative medium of film (and eventually digital video) inaugurated the true scope and importance of anthropological research among a vastly wider audience who would use it, and its intrinsic capacity for the augmentation of artistic expression, to proliferate an expansive accompaniment to the field which would all become recognized platforms for demonstrative presentation of individual oeuvres.
Intermedia has worked in this way to amalgamate concepts like Futurism, Dadaism, and other expressionist movements within (and yet intentionally excluding) fine art. Film and video, while maintained as the mediums of choice for this author’s preference for creative and professional praxis, are discussed herein, as well as the other, more intermedial, forms of creative articulation which have been used explicitly throughout the latter half of graduate study in the program if its namesake.
As a lifelong visual media enthusiast, this author has witnessed the paradigm shift of mediums like photography, videography and multimedia design evolving from analog instrumentation to the digital spectrum of non-mechanized vehicles of expression. Having not only maintained a long held fascination with these media, but also a vested interest in the avenues which they forge, this author considers himself fortunate to be counted as an observational proponent of the exhaustive, global, artifactual transposition consistent with no other industry over the same period of recent years. The purpose of the discussion directly related to that digital medium within the context of this paper is to more definitively characterize this author’s contributions to the substance and content of that pool of collective change - and the effect that change has imposed on his individual work as it relates to programmatic and academic scholarship. This is, herein, referenced as the prior half of those programmatic studies.
On the whole, the components of the ensuing discussion will also draw in the latter half of progression through the Intermedia program, wherein this author was faced with two extreme challenges: a life-changing, personal attack in the midst of an accelerated terminal graduate curriculum; and the apposite realization that Intermedia, and not necessarily the creative medium with which this author has spent the bulk of his professional and creative life becoming familiar, was the consummate medium necessary to address and overcome that traumatic event - which momentously presented the opportunity to gerrymander the circumstances to the benefit of the thesis work found below (as well as a wide swathe of lagniappes inadvertently proffered as a result in other spheres of personal and professional life).
As such, this paper will be framed by two constituent methodological discussions: Section One: Visual Multimedia, and Section Two: Intermedial Adaptations. Each will work to bring specific conclusivity to the implications admitted of their appellation and demonstrate how the major contributing factors to each such subset of praxis have informed the evolution of this author’s most contemporary practice. Additionally, each will employ a notion of exposition incongruent with the other segment, detailing individualistic development specific to that work.
The third and concluding section, which will lend itself to particularizing the composite commonality of individual works, the discussion of their historiographic endowments, and the unifying factors of their generally misapprehended miscellany, will draw on the collective evolution and distill the subsequent objectives upon which the same contemporaneous successes have garnered educational momentum.
O'Donnell, Cyle P., "Non/Disclosure: Documentation and Participant Observation as Hybrid, Nonfiction, Artistic Research Methodology for Ethnographic Media Production, Contemplative Discovery, Social Practice and Catharsis" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2775.
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