Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Can acts of making carry the memories of our embeddedness within the world? This thesis explores how making things can nurture a sense of kinship that cuts across the organic and inorganic, erasing the distinction between living and dead, material and spiritual. Through handwork such as art-making, sewing, knitting, cooking, woodworking, and beyond, the burden of remembering and of archiving is shared across human and non-human bodies, cultivated through practices of making, and through the materials themselves. By recounting the stories of my family’s experience as Jewish immigrants in the United States, I aim to reveal how their domestic practices of making allowed them to make memory tangible and curb the experience of loss. In these encounters, maker and material interact in communication. Their collective dialogue serves not only to remember the past but to remake memories for the future. By identifying such modes of memory-making beyond the mind, I challenge the purely psychological models of memory and the modern division between mind and body on which they rest. As such, this thesis is both a personal account and an invitation to acknowledge our deep and inherent kinship with the material world.
Wills, Ariel, "Material Encounters: Making Memory Beyond the Mind" (2021). Masters Theses. 1144.
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