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And she built a crooked house




Franzen, Wendy Westfall, author
Lundberg, Thomas R., advisor
Kneller, Jane E., committee member
Faris, Suzanne M., committee member
Moseman, Eleanor F., committee member

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The title of my installation originates from a favorite short story I first read in high school. Robert A. Heinlein originally published "-And He Built a Crooked House-" in Astounding Science Fiction in 1941. The tale is about a California architect who designs an efficient structure by building a house in a three-dimensional representation of four-dimensions. An earthquake causes the house to actually fall into the fourth dimension: time. This is not a horror story, but a whimsical view of the wonders of the space-time continuum, and how a natural event like an earthquake can affect our lives. In my response to Heinlein's tale "she" is Mother Nature or Gaia, who has "built a crooked house" still beyond our complete understanding or control. The forces and movements of the earth that create organic structures and environments are the basis for the formal and conceptual aspects of my thesis: Tectonic plate movements cause mountains to form at a geological pace, punctuated by the rapid turns of volcanoes and earthquakes. Even the fastest rivers must yield to the rhythms of stone in their making of canyons. Weather events, like hurricanes and tornados, swirl through land and sea on a seasonal basis. Water and minerals slowly build into sand dunes and caverns of stalactites and stalagmites. It is the mystery and force of these complex occurrences of nature that compelled me to build And She Built a Crooked House.


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