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  • ItemOpen Access
    One man's trash, is another woman's treasure
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Hamilton, Samantha, author; Lajarin-Encina, Aitor, advisor; Osborne, Erika, committee member; Ryan, Ajean, committee member; DeMirjyn, Maricela, committee member
    Kitsch and related aesthetic sensibilities have a history of being undervalued and deemed flashy, sentimental, and "low-class." Kitsch aesthetics inspire "cheap" emotions contrary to the sophistication and control associated with an educated audience. Rasquachismo supposes a working-class sensibility, highlighting the hierarchy of materials and that these materials exist within systems of power and value. My work explores these aesthetic sensibilities by acquiring imagery from inherited or low-value sources such as thrift shops and transforming the second-hand or discarded objects I find into new artistic objects that conceptually reflect the materials used. References to gender, labor, utility, and mass production are evoked in my work through the use of found objects as the ground for the painting of second-hand floral patterns.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Socializing playgrounds and creating invisible borders
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Delgado, Vicente, author; Plastini, Johnny, advisor; Aoki, Eric, committee member; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Lajarin-Encina, Aitor, committee member
    Equal rights have been the outcry for many protesters and environmentalist fighting against injustices done to communities throughout the years. Visual arts have the power to start and steer conversations, therefore juxtaposing objects, images, and the use of color to indicate concepts of invisible borders that are created by people, maps, and the built environment. An understanding of the early adaptation of children's stratification of others through the readings of Pierre Bourdieu's community doxa, and the three capitals that differentiate one's upbringing into a society. The ontology of the adult-made toy can tell us a bit more about how these objects introduce a child to a Marxist society, while other toys can teach them how to socialize and obtain skills that only belong to the community. Low social classes and high social classes are clear distinctions of the social economic state of families across the nation, yet Charles Tilly's Durable Inequality, helps us understand that we care to dissolve injustices, much more than fighting for equality.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Formal complications
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Schweiger, Alec, author; Bates, Haley, advisor; Harrow, Del, committee member; Moore, Emily, committee member; Malinin, Laura, committee member
    This thesis is concerned with the experiential understanding of the everyday-tactile environment. From public to private, infrastructure to daily-use objects, the things that exist in the constructed environment around me compel my investigations of material, form, and function. Specifically, how these qualities work in concert to inspire associations of purpose and value. Inhabiting a variety of formats from jewelry to sculpture to installation, the work allows me the space to pose questions about what makes an object important, and how that may be determined. The responsive decisions I make are informed by my experience with, and a sensitivity towards, materials and objects associated with packaging, adornment, domesticity, and industry.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Resonance: memory and emotion
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Shelby, Mariah, author; Bates, Haley, advisor; Brenner, Rachel, committee member; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Plastini, Johnny, committee member
    Through an investigation into the trauma responses of my body, from dissociation to panic attacks, I have built a body of work that relies on the associations and interactions of material and process. I have developed a sensitivity to material and processes guided by the desire to communicate feelings and emotions that are difficult to put into words. These materials vary based on clinical properties, historical contexts, or personal memory. While working, I am concerned about what materials may communicate beyond their intended purpose, pushing the material to broaden my conceptual ideas.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Drawing as a phenomenological exploration of ritual
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Valentine, Clark, author; Lehene, Marius, advisor; Lajarin-Encina, Aitor, committee member; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Brady, Shawn, committee member
    Historically, drawing developed in conjunction with ritual practices. Beginning with cave paintings, where drawings were traced and retraced over generations, drawing developed as a performative element of ritual practice. Even into modern day, drawing is present in many ritual practices throughout the world. In defining ritual from a phenomenological perspective, specifically through the language of Martin Heidegger's book Being in Time, ritual embodies a process of uncovering the horizons of the world, which is the realm of one's understanding. Many of Heidegger's key ideas overlap ritualistic perspectives from ancient China, including the philosophy of Daoism and the ritual culture of Confucian philosophy. Through these, I am able to articulate the way in which my own studio practice and current body of work (2020 through publication) function as a subset of this methodology of mark-making as ritual. I explain the relationship between the ritual of my making within the studio setting and the ritual of looking, audience members perform in the gallery. This ritual of drawing embodies both ideas of being-in-the-world as well as providing paradigmatic examples of the transcendence of ritual into everyday life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    That which sees me: painting's unique capacity in an ambivalent age
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Price, Justin, author; Lajarin-Encina, Aitor, advisor; Lehene, Marius, committee member; Kissell, Kevin, committee member; Emami, Sanam, committee member
    I use the medium of paint to express my interest in problems for which I do not have the language to express. Born from my obsessive and indecisive tendencies, these preoccupations must be attended to at a distance from myself, a skill paint is specific to accommodate. Paint functions as a corporeal engine of thought, a notion expressed by French phenomenological philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty, showing no distinction between the mind as non-extended or the mind as body/matter. Using paint to address my own disposition of ambivalence, its own ambivalent qualities provide a nuanced context for these interrogations. Paint exists both as itself, color made tactile and concrete, and decidedly descriptive with its illusionistic capabilities. These oppositions also provide a unique perspective to the fluid nature of our modern world burdened by the violence of its systematic naming and control as theorized by Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman. Paint is agile to speak of the implications to these ambivalent systems created in ordering our world. Secundino Hernández, Tomory Dodge, and Joshua Hagler are three artist who also deal with the medium of paint as a logic unto-itself. Like them, I explore the subtlety of ambivalence in search of a new constancy.
  • ItemOpen Access
    History of peculiar traits and others
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) House, Joshua Bryant, author; Simons, Stephen, advisor; Dormer, James, advisor; Beachy-Quick, Dan, committee member; Lehene, Marius, committee member; Moseman, Eleanor, committee member
    My paranoid neurosis is the focus of my recent printmaking work. The absurd and frequently surreal imagery is derived from the continuous oddity of my everyday thought, from issues I know are clearly the result of overactive imagination or the serious dread of bizarre circumstances I often find myself in. The medium of printmaking allows for obsessive levels of detail and engrossment in the image making process, as well as a granting the ability to make unique marks that other mediums are incapable of. By placing these thoughts in figurative scenarios in a playground of psychological space, I synthesize the connection of symbolism in relationship to personal experience. The final product is a dialogue between the absurd idea and the logical means attempted to bring understanding.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Formal fluidity: the blending performance of gender, identity, and art making
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Gillespie, Spencer, author; Osborne, Erika, advisor; Leal, Francisco, committee member; Riep, Dave, committee member; Lehene, Marius, committee member
    My art, like life, is in a constant state of flux. I bring a personal and unique history to the making process each time I enter the studio. My work is visually autobiographical with written text and expressive mark making. I deal with thoughts of mental health by journaling on the surface of my paintings. I use my body to physically express and work through thoughts of sadness or joy. Throwing materials at the work, gouging the surface with tools, jumping to reach the top edges, or throwing water on top of the painting are all examples of that. I transcend stigmatic social labels of gender norms by hiding and subverting the performance of my actions through layers of work and process, mirroring and recording how I felt in the execution of creation. While working in my studio and critically engaging with the fragility of my process, I am also constrained by my formalist teachings. There is a balance between merging this formal training while engaging in self-reverential work. The blending of these two elements allude to a closer look at myself and how I choose to present myself within the context of a heteronormative society. Subverting gender performativity through nonrepresentational art making while engaging in the process of highlighting my gender identity allows for a performative, fluid process in which I place myself in the world.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Synthetic inquiry of four-letter words
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Young, Amy Denise, author; Tornatzky, Cyane, advisor; Bukowski, Kristen, committee member; Harrow, Del, committee member; Taylor-Massey, Julie, committee member
    Four-letter words bear a few of the more intense emotional descriptors in the English language: love, hate, lust, and envy. My thesis series focuses on love but explores each of these four-letter words to display the complexity of human emotion. Each artwork in the series can be thematically categorized using love in relation to the dynamics of friendships, family, romance, or self. My thesis works reinterpret my experiences with themes of love and other four-letter words as an adolescent. The weavings depict and challenge rites of passage in American traditions and practices. Through weaving and reconstruction of items acquired in second-hand stores, I investigate human development and my own identity. The synthetic items found in thrift stores are manipulated to create factitious representations of my experiences and fantasies. In the safety of my studio and at the comfort of the loom, I inquire how these four-letter words shape and impact the recollection of my life up to this point. In this paper, my practice is detailed in two segments: Form and Themes. Form illustrates the physical labor of my studio practice which involves second-hand shopping, collage, weaving, and material-based processes. The theme segment relays the conceptual research that supports the artworks. Youth, love, and diversity are analyzed as linked themes through the lens of academia and cinema. Synthetic Inquiry of Four-Letter Words exhibits structures of interwoven thread, material, experiential information and investigation of identity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A disobedient mediation
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Bagdon, Andrea, author; Osborne, Erika, advisor; Bernagozzi, Jason, committee member; Ryan, Ajean, committee member; Little, Ann, committee member
    Historically within the canon of art, specifically painting, the female form and ultimately female identity was understood in binary terms as being an opposite of the heroic male, conveyed as a commoditized trope of the feminine. There was a disruption to the canon of art in 1968 with the invention of the handheld Sony Portapak camcorder. Many female artists adapted video into their artmaking practice for its ability to become an effective communication medium. In its infancy, the medium of video was not yet dominated by male artists and was not taught in most art institutions. Thus, it represented a medium untainted by the baggage of art history. As a result, experimental video became a feminist medium which offered an alternative form of mediation to subvert the patriarchal artistic canon. Artists have the potential to be researchers of perception and Art can become an agent of mediation to breakdown subjective social orders that cloud our consciousness. My work aims to decode and expose the abstracted systems of femininity and the domestic by using the image processing mediums of video and paint. My paintings and videos unveil multiple emotional states from the same female-identifying psyche in order to examine intimate scenes of self-conflict which have been brought on by obsessive cultural programming. By using uncomfortable representations of the domestic and the figure I also intend to highlight the psychological trauma and disrupt the patriarchal lens that is inherent within the canon of art.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The boundaries of experience
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Price, Patrick, author; Faris, Suzanne, advisor; Harrow, Del, committee member; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Soler Gallego, Silvia, committee member
    As I make my way through the world, I rely on my senses to inform me of the things and events around me that allow me to continue living and growing as a human being. I am keenly aware of myself as a living human consciousness that appears to inhabit a body. My mind is the center of this being, and my body and the senses it employs are the interface between this being within, and the reality without. My artwork explores the boundary between these worlds and how it gives shape to reality. With a focus on history, culture, and science, and how they affect identity, my research investigates the way these factors inform the creative act of being in the world. The sculptural objects and images I create attempt to reveal answers to the questions my artistic practice revolves around. My work casting and fabricating objects and then placing them in specific contexts challenges the frameworks of collective and individual world-view constructs by revealing them for what they are. Material and landscape, objects and space, create harmonious or discordant relationships that aim to question what a culture can take as certainty. The trajectory of this body of work has led to my thesis The Veil of Isis, which through metaphor and allusion, points to the limits of what our senses can tell us about reality.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Rope language
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Guilfoyle, Johanna, author; Plastini, Johnny, advisor; Lajarin-Encina, Aitor, committee member; Romagni, Domenica, committee member; Moseman, Eleanor, committee member
    With blistered hands and rope-burned ankles gripping the rope, I look up towards the peeling tape marking the daunting height of 15 feet. I loop the rough fibers over my right foot before clamping it in place with my left. My feet hold steady and I stand up to reach my arms further upwards. I unwrap the rope from my feet and lift them higher before re-looping the rope over my right shoe, again and again, literally sculpting my body, my muscle, my flesh. Through the rope and this repetitive task, I build my flesh. The rope and other symbols of my past are imprinted over and over again. Similarly, the layering and fusing of prints transform inanimate material into bodily experience--I create flesh from repetition, and through this flesh convey the physical narratives contained within. The color and texture of each print builds to create the final collective mass. If any one of the prints were missing, any piece of the narrative, the final piece would exist as a different form. The layered narrative of my work is embedded in encaustic mortality. The amalgam of my life is embedded into flesh. The corporeal experience of my work entices the viewer to become increasingly aware of their own flesh and the narratives contained within.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Drifting, mending
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Leonard, Zach, author; Lehene, Marius, advisor; Ryan, Ajean, committee member; Tornatzky, Cyane, committee member; Cohen, Adrienne, committee member
    I see my everyday life and my art practice as connected by the activity of walking. My art practice attempts to express poetic qualities of discarded (broken) objects found in my everyday life and in my walking (drifting). Overall, this practice is guided by a sharpened sensibility towards everything that is broken or bereft, including bereft-of-a-world. I gained this shift in sensibility after a car accident, in my teens. My propensity for walking made it a preferred means to act on my sensibility for everything that is broken or bereft (from simple actions, ideas, and objects), enabling me to engage with concepts of space and place. The combination of Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre's ontology and epistemology of space and place influenced my creative process. In addition, the Situationist practice of detournement – a method of appropriating and altering something (an event, or – as often in my case – objects) to create new meaning – is possibly as important as walking in my art practice. Walking is a method of research and detournement is an expressive action of that method. In the studio I, in a sense, began mending, bringing them back into a world. With the small artistic gestures or simply articulating them into a space (on a wall, a floor) or into a combination with another. I strive for a sense of poetry in humble materials, creating works that exist in the present moment, reflecting the fragility of the world, and allowing for individual moments of viewer creativity, experiences, and perceptions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Intrinsic motions
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Trujillo, Isaac, author; Plastini, Johnny, advisor; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Moore, Emily, committee member; Ryan, Ajean, committee member; Wohl, Ellen, committee member
    This graduate thesis describes in-depth research and artworks produced by Isaac Trujillo from 2018-2020. His MFA works created at Colorado State University expresses and captures the importance of traditional printmaking, digital photography and twenty-first-century interpretations of the land art movement. His work contends that the sport of rock climbing, printmaking, and interdisciplinary art practice are all in collaboration with the phenomena of nature. This expands our ideas of a static material world and expresses the constant flux of space through juxtaposition and metaphorical references to geologic time. The primary argument for contemplation is that material things and objects are inevitably in a constant state of change and renewal.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Systems of uncertainty: acting and undergoing
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Faherty, Lauren, author; Faris, Suzanne, advisor; Harrow, Del, committee member; Moore, Emily, committee member; Kissell, Kevin, committee member
    For most of my life, I have sought to understand how systems within the body function and engage with one another — how a healthy and organized structure can undergo rapid deterioration stemming from networks failing to communicate properly. The body is supported by an abundance of systems that are introduced to aging, disease and other biological effects throughout our lifespan. The transformation that takes place in the physical self when introduced to a biological disruption is the basis of my body of work Acting and Undergoing. The confrontation of my body's mortality was spurred by my family's genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases. The organized structure of systems in our bodies lacks the security or stability many people enjoy. In my sculpture, Acting/Undergoing, thin, precarious wood structures work to support plush fabric pieces that are actively overtaken by black forms. Viewers looking at my unpredictable structures are confronted with their own bodily relationships — as one that is intimately familiar yet shrouded by the unknown.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Excess flesh: a study on the universal commodification and consumption of the colored body
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Holmes, Jasmine Nicole, author; Lehene, Marius, advisor; Souza, Caridad, committee member; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Plastini, Johnny, committee member
    First, the breakdown of hegemony and the creation of "race" must be explored before moving onto the branching facets of commodified colored figures: Entertainment, Labor, Sexuality. Western societies' basic understanding of race is laced with phenotypical notions. The term itself is entwined within every societal construct that exists within the contemporary world. In order to completely discuss my artistic practice and the pieces that have developed throughout my time within this program, we must study these compartments of racial discrimation and overall consumption of the Black form.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The words we can't hear: decoding the language of objects through the eyes of object-oriented ontology
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Dong Saul, Samuel Omar, author; Frazier, Jason, advisor; Dineen, Mark, committee member; Kissell, Kevin, committee member; Gravdahl, John, committee member
    The work presented in this paper investigates the presumption that objects relating to humans are part of a more significant philosophical discussion. Using the philosophical framework of Graham Harman's Object-Oriented Ontology (OOO) as the theoretical foundation, the thesis explores the acknowledgment that by not thinking about the sum of the material parts of objects and the cultural meanings of their interpretations, one could experience new relationships with his/her surrounding objects. Discussions on post-structuralist language theories in contemporary art address how artists use language and cultural symbols in art-objects, challenging already established cultural meanings. In addition, psychological theories of personification of objects, and how they help understand the life of non-living things, support the idea that objects communicate in non-verbal ways to other objects in their environment without the full awareness of people. Conclusively, the thesis will attempt to translate and interpret the unique relationship of living and non-living objects; how non-verbal code is left behind and by challenging language conventions, one can experience a new relationship with objects outside the cultural norms.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Managing and manifesting memory
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Jaso, Jacob Stuart, author; Lundberg, Thomas, advisor; Lehene, Marius, committee member; Kissell, Kevin, committee member; Ryan, Ajean, committee member
    To understand my relationship with my past, I make objects with a sense of urgency to harvest sensations and reveal truths hidden in memory. When I left New Brunswick to emigrate back to the United States, I began to feel a longing to return to Canada. I had found a real sense of home, with deeply personal and profound connections to people and places. I would not truly understand the depth of those connections until I left. As I work to gain perspective on my longing to return to the past, I draw upon Suprematist concepts of creating irrational spaces and giving primacy to feelings over objective visual representation. Both concepts use color and shape to create these irrational spaces and to capture raw emotion. Far from New Brunswick and the people that made me feel welcome, everything I began to make echoed their faces and the landmarks that ground my remembered experiences. To understand the extent and power of memories in my creative process, I considered how to diminish their ability to influence my practice, since everything I made was centered on the past. Could Suprematist strategies offer real ways to distill a memory without diluting the remembered experience, breaking down memory, and discovering truth within the process of longing? If I could not return to living in a comforting past, I would create a window, a portal, a way to dwell in the contentment of that chapter of my life.
  • ItemOpen Access
    From Sacrificial Lands to reciprocity: art and social engagement
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Thornton, Janine, author; Lundberg, Thomas, advisor; Kissell, Kevin, committee member; Moore, Emily, committee member; Plastini, Johnny, committee member
    Oh I would touch with this love each wounded place - Anita Barrows, "Psalm" My thesis artworks focus on interconnection and on the Western cultural perception of a separation between humans and nature. This perception developed during the nineteenth-century Westward Expansion, which viewed nature as a source of resources to be utilized and tamed. Within this separation is an assumed hierarchy in which nature is viewed as lesser or expendable when compared to humans. Land continues to be sacrificed for human wants with no regard for the impacts that this land use has on nature and humans, or on our delicate ties of interconnection. The word interconnection is very broad with many meanings and interpretations. In this work, interconnection refers to relationships, especially from an environmental perspective, in which individual behaviors affect other life forms and natural systems. This interconnection is a web of cause and effect, in which actions of individuals have impacts that ripple out into the world. It is often difficult to understand the effects that individual actions have on others, as it requires a heightened awareness of our world and its issues – awareness that can be challenging to achieve. I believe more discussion and action are needed to help expand awareness and sensitivity towards environmental threats. The questions guiding my research ask, a) how I visually represent the concept of human/nature interconnection, b) how I express the environmental necessity of relationship and reciprocity in our actions, and c) how social engagement can help to expand awareness and discussion. I included social engagement in my thesis because I believe a greater depth of understanding can be encouraged through collaborative works with artists and other disciplines. I explored ideas of human/nature interconnection and relationship through studies of materials, place and the environment. Materials such as fibers, cement and plastic connote relationship, culture, consumption and waste. Fibers are reminders of everyday consumer items such as clothing and housewares, which also can provide a sense of status through the brands selected. Plastics link to consumer product consumption, and to trends, which lead to waste when the item is no longer of value. Plastic is another manufactured material used for packaging and consumer product integrity. My use of plastic ties back to product consumption and waste, as most plastics become landfill. Cement is a manufactured material most frequently seen in construction projects, which aligns with urban development and shifting relationships with nature. Following my work with materials, I looked to my relationship with place, focusing on where I live. This included developing a better understanding of how I relate to the land and wildlife around me, and impacts I make by living there. By making the subject matter of my work more personal, I am better able to see my particular relationship with nature and the impacts of decisions I make. Next, I expanded my personal perspective from my locale to a larger view of the rural environment through the collaborative development of the Sacrificial Lands exhibit, which includes my artwork along with work of other artists, poets, and scientists. The Sacrificial Lands project showcases individual perspectives, creativity, and research from a variety of fields. The objectives are to encourage expanded discussion of environmental topics and to promote collaborative endeavors that seek greater environmental awareness and restoration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Instantiating time: object as metaphor
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2019) Forsythe, Alexandra, author; Bates, Haley, advisor; Egenhoff, Sven, committee member; Emami, Sanam, committee member; Ryan, Ajean, committee member
    This body of work reflects personal research into the characteristics of time, specifically memory in relation to site, and our human relationship with the natural world. Time is relative, not absolute. Each individual has a unique perspective, from the speed at which time passes to recollection of the past to speculation into future events. Through the dual lenses of the personal and the geologic, I engage with perceptions of spatiotemporal experience. Exploration of the souvenir as a physical representation of memory and site is contrasted against the expansive theory of deep time. Through repetitive, time intensive methods grounded in traditional ways of making I create objects that both embody and represent time. By interacting directly with the body, my wearable pieces allow for an intimate engagement with these ideas; the non-wearable work provides space for reflection on the nature of time and memory.