Date of Award

Summer 8-18-2020

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Intermedia

Advisor

Sheridan Adams

Second Committee Member

Owen F. Smith

Third Committee Member

Randall Regier

Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explain the reason behind my art practise and process as it stands in August 2020, its context and relation to my life and experience as an outsider in the American culture. This process culminates in the documentation of experiences through the use and preparation of displays of personal artifacts as physical evidence and mechanisms of my transformation to my american persona through a continuing acculturation process and drift from the american generational archetype.

It is important to outline my current work state diverges from my past work since it no longer serves a creative outlet purpose but rather a conceptual analysis process; my work is no longer in search of catharsis and should not be seen as Art Therapy. In my work I use the collecting and archiving of popular culture and classic computing as my medium of choice to create displays presenting personal artifacts. I refer to these objects as artifacts since their use and presentation is tied to my personal context and narrative, and represent tipping points in my acculturation process and generational drift.

The research process begins with the analysis of the relationship between Generational Theory and Social Psychology from the lens of immigration, it reflects on the sequels and evidence left behind by the cultural adjustment process such as cultural shock, cultural bereavement and social marginalization. From this analysis, what follows is an understanding of generational identity and development displaying key generational formative aspects such as parenting style, economic environment, technology, among others, and how they get affected by psychosocial stressors such as inmigration, and personal experience and context.

Next, the research addresses the process and relation between Nostalgia, Behavioral Psychology and Trauma, this is meant to understand the application of Nostalgia and external triggers used in trauma treatment in the acculturation process as tools and coping mechanisms to deal with psychosocial stressors. This is then referenced as oversights in past work.

Later on, the creative thesis work shows the evolutive process of analysis of my personal context and conceptual development. This process focuses mainly on using the displays to show who I was and the person I have become due to my acculturation process. This part of the research process also addresses the limitations and unexpected developments caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19.

Finally, the research concludes with the understanding of the artifacts created in the creative work not only as evidence of a transformation process but also as mechanisms to reach out and find a sense of community and belonging in the american culture, at the same time, even that I was able to show this artifacts and exhibits about myself as evidence and credentials of my american persona, the sociocultural and political climate in the United States caused by the COVID-19 epidemic constantly outlined and reminded me that I still exist as an outsider on paper, showing the effects of the pursuit to fit in, and the defense mechanisms I developed to cope with the invalidation present in my social context.

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