Date of Award

Summer 8-19-2022

Level of Access Assigned by Author

Open-Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Susan Smith

Second Committee Member

Susan Camp

Third Committee Member

Cheryl Robertson

Additional Committee Members

Daniel Bouthot

Monica Carvalho


The following thesis explored the waste generated by a small family of three, during 6 months, and its incorporation into the artist's work. Blending art and personal life, the artist used qualitative and quantitative documentation of her own household trash to expose the struggles associated with waste accumulation. Diving into the family consumer habits, Adriana faced the challenges related to overconsumption and its entanglement of the many layers of hidden economic empowerment related to waste. Using references from the history of waste, the artist highlights the inevitable impact of the rejected objects associated with the fast reproduction of non-biodegradable objects as a result of the cradle-to-grave designs, which implies waste being a social and environmental issue of our current time. Through a combination of studio practice and autoethnographic research methodology, waste is discussed from a wide to a personal perspective, while presenting the critical thinking and interdisciplinary practices that led the artist to self-awareness and introduced the circular economy as a more feasible, sustainable option. The artist considered this project a peaceful protest and a needed force to release the guilt of her own wrongful habits, powered by the responsibility of raising a human being.

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