Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Keetra Dean Dixon

Third Advisor

Benjamin Shaykin

Abstract

What are we talking about when we talk about identity? People are likely to define themselves in terms of what is relevant to their time and place, in other words, context. This indicates that identity is not a fixed definition, but more of a malleable construction; it develops its attributes via context. I am constantly recalibrating the relationship between the two. Context is ubiquitous, unnoticed, coexistent and interchangeable. Identity is reflexive, fragmented, shapeable and fluid. Identity Production explores and unveils how identity is adapted and manifested in contemporary conditions, as well as its external validation which paradoxically defines this indefinable concept. This thesis asks readers to be conscious of the contexts with which we interact on a daily basis, as well as the corresponding identities that are activated by them. My role as designer shifts accordingly within each section. Substitution, subversion and superimposition are the methods allowing me to materialize the intangibles and simulate the incompatibilities.

This process has led me to wonder: Where can an identity exist? What does an identity look like? How is identity validated? The research subjects cover from standardized manufacturing and social platforms to universal surveillance and machine vision. My work orients context as the defining factor, leading to a subsidiary production of the identity. Through my thesis, I hope to offer a better understanding of our relationship with the environment, both digital and analog, as well as a better understanding of the self.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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