MFA Thesis Exhibition



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Interactive electronic devices such as the Tamagachi that emerged in the early 90’s not only provided entertainment but also emotional connections for younger generations. This blurred the lines between personal connectivity and emotional attachment by combining them in a device. Simultaneously, the accessibility of the internet also influenced the manner in which relationships progress. A growing gener- ation of consumers, imitating aspects of advertising, are able to promote, modify, and control how they are perceived online, creating a false but idealized self–objectifying one’s identity as a product. An entire network encouraging this behavior has created a deficiency in interpersonal relationships, while accelerating the speed in which we obtain these connections.

As consumers, we use and discard. How has this pattern affected our interpersonal relationships? A device such as an iPhone offers con- nectivity in the form of social media. Extending beyond social media, other “Apps” are commonly used by both hetero- and homosexuals to find “hook-ups.” The existence of these devices have challenged all traditional approaches of acquiring intimacy. Despite their intended purpose, I believe our toys have failed to deliver their promises. As new technologies emerge, I foresee the creation of more sensual devices that reflect our needs for intimacy, and our desire to attain it.

Nexsys both embodies and challenges notions of play and imagination for adults. Play itself, is a large part of my creative process, but is rarely conveyed in the final presentation. I enjoy brainstorming and generating prototypes that result in a tangible product. My most recent work utilizes computer-based technology, translating the virtual to physical through a 3D printed model, and replicating the piece in silicone through molds. Because my current work exists digitally, like my identity, both on- and off-line, it can be edited and modified with no risk or consequence parallel to our lives portrayed on the web via social media. To further complicate this process, final pieces are re-digitized through the lens of photography to be edited and modified, yet again. Because of my struggle to address what is real between my online identity and mediated relationships, the subject of intimacy has been a constant thread throughout my work.

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