Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2018

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




N.B. Aldrich

Second Committee Member

Jolene Blais

Third Committee Member

Sofian Audry

Additional Committee Members

Amy Pierce

Jon Ippolito


This paper examines the themes of human perception and participation within the contemporary paradigm and relates the hallmarks of the major paradigm shift which occurred in the mid-20th century from a structural view of the world to a systems view. In this context, the author’s creative practice is described, outlining a methodology for working with the communication networks and interpersonal feedback loops that help to define our relationships to each other and to media since that paradigm shift. This research is framed within a larger field of inquiry into the impact of contemporary New Media Art as we experience it.

This thesis proposes generative/cybernetic/systems art as the most appropriate media to model the processes of cultural identity production and networked communication. It reviews brief definitions of the systems paradigm and some key principles of cybernetic theory, with emphasis on generative, indeterminate processes. These definitions provide context for a brief review of precedents for the use of these models in the arts, (especially in process art, experimental video, interactive art, algorithmic composition, and sound art) since the mid-20th century, in direct correlation to the paradigm shift into systems thinking.

Research outcomes reported here describe a recent body of generative art performances that have evolved from this intermedial, research-based creative practice, and discuss its use of algorithms, electronic media, and performance to provide audiences with access to an intuitive model of the interpersonal in a networked world.


This research is ongoing and I welcome any inquiries or comments. A massive thank you to all who have supported this work.

Champlin_I-Am-Sitting_full720_05-17-2018.m4v (129147 kB)
Video of I Am Sitting full thesis performance

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