Title

Squishy Play

Date of Award

Spring 6-2-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Lucy Hitchcock

Third Advisor

Keetra Dean Dixon

Abstract

Work is part of our identity and dictates how workers spend most of their time in the US. This obsession has truncated our imagination and ability to conceive of alternatives. As a tactic to reclaim free time, I offer a practice I refer to as squishy play in which participants momentarily adopt new social norms to collectively discover new ways of engaging with the world and each other.

I use squishy play as a lens to investigate the power structures, social norms, and material output of late capitalism in the US. Squishy play is generous in its frivolity. It is mobile. It allows for new modes of thinking. It is resilient and adaptive to the world it is given. It is inherently interactive.

In squishy play, I use bluntness, absurdity, repetition, transparency, translation, and an economy of moves to foreground the deeply embedded values and social structures of society. Squishy play knows that it must not take itself too seriously, but never forgets that it also must take itself really really seriously.

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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