Date of Award

Summer 8-22-2020

Level of Access

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Owen Smith

Second Committee Member

Susan Smith

Third Committee Member

Michael Grillo


The Intermedia Masters of Fine Arts taught me that my Art practice comes from my life experiences and wellness methods. I explored yoga, dance, exercise, and homeopathic medicines, with new and old media skill sets to build references, tools and new methods in order to extend my beliefs and understandings of the world and my place in it as an artist and a human. The value of embodiment in my research has been my first biggest take away from the MFA. It's through embodied research where I discovered the relationship between actions that sculpt my body, art and life relationships. My work revolves around the human body and acts of documentation. Here I furthered my understanding of art by moving beyond the ideas of the traditional paper canvas into my avante-garde practice where the forefront of my research is dealing with muscular activity and growth as documentation as it coincides with mental growth/wellness. More so adopting the ideas behind the planning of a fully flourishing life to support these experiences allowed for embodied acts to be foundations of my life and art. As an artistic researcher I have been experimenting with methods and skill sets that have to do with using my body to create pieces of work. This includes equipping Dumbells with Paint brushes that helped me communicate and test my ideas of embodied wellness and how the act can be seen as a process of documentation. Supporting the embodied methods I derived a performance of a deadlift that took a giant flat rock to break an xbox that was consuming time and giving me carpal cramps and inflammation. In addition anytime in the digital world i spent could have otherwise been spent in the real world. In another performance I recreated an indeterminate occurrence I saw in nature. I did this using chance operations of percussion on a walkway ramp using indoor architecture in a building to revisit an experience I had, from questioning what the sound of acorns would sound like in one spot hitting the road. My thesis work is based on methods of an experimental embodied life-art I call NeurAuto, where art, technology, and methods of wellness come together to pinpoint relationships of art in life. This should also be seen as well as skill building; how being mindful and reflective can make one more susceptible to balanced experiences in life. Building off of my previous bodies of work (3x5, Wreck Center, Ramp Rail – see portfolio for more information) I began to focus on the value of experiences that come from life's happenings. Thinking about the experiences that shape my life and my body as a canvas I started to move towards new experimental forms of documentation. I built an application for the MFA thesis gallery exhibition that builds off my life chart set work that aims to document one's day to day experience more automatically and inventively. The idea behind the application is also supported by my life art methodology NeurAuto, “the plan of doing” that is supported by my research on autopoiesis and neuroplasticity. The interest in these concepts sparked the ideas to create and innovate on how I value my experiences and conduct NeurAuto. Since using these, my old processes and new app (NeurAutoApp) I have gained a deeper awareness of myself, my skill sets and my surroundings. NeurAuto living as an application allowed me to socially engage anyone in the world because the application lives online for free user engagement. Through my thesis on the Inter-Art Machine, which involves the mechanics of embodiment, methods of wellness, my explorations and creative works and tools, I am aiming to understand the relationship between life and art as we know it. As i stated previously my making starts from my body. Where the body becomes my foundation for my explorative artistic research. It's my thinking that being mindful of my own experiences and developing my personal skill sets can further my abilities to conduct academic and artistic research, creative work, and methods of wellness. I feel that these mechanisms together with my philosophies about living, and thinking support my thesis on the Inter-Art Machine. This document discusses how the Inter-Art Machine is built along my methodological concerns and in the context with my research done around surrounding topics, artists, and thinkers. The document will also document my MFA portfolio which includes the products of my designs with embodied performances and documentations, methods life chartings, methods of wellness and ideas behind NeurAuto, and most recently the creation of my application. I refer to this collection of my work as the inter-art machine, and how art was pulled from my life and rendered for new understandings. Being able to reflect on living a balanced life as art and what this may entail in order to be self maintaining as an artist and a human. My self experimentation has moved into trials of wellness, documentation of embodied skillsets, homeopathic medicines, and self experience awareness methods.