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

Paul Soulellis

Third Advisor

Ryan Waller

Abstract

I see myself as a literary curator — I collect and sequence texts and images, both digital and analog, to reveal, connect, and construct narratives, resulting in shifting meanings and significances. Inhabiting this curatorial ethos, I investigate hidden subtexts, locating personal and collective relations to the margins and files marked “miscellany.” Working in books and installations, I engage with the inherited meanings of visual languages (form, typography, color, material, format) to open up well-worn narratives and craft new interpretations.

Tiny Diasporas is a primer to a design practice that borrows the form of an abecedarius, an alphabetical wordlist for learning the basics of reading and writing. The title comes from a quote by the artist-gatherer Danh Vo, who describes his work as “the tiny diasporas that make up a person’s life.” In this thesis, through projects and interviews, I outline a practice that addresses broad political themes refracted through personal narratives. Where artists like Danh Vo use the museum space as a site for repositioning historical objects to create new meanings, I use the book form as a space for curatorial intervention. A site where interpretation (meaning) is mediated by the space between image and text and through sequence, the book allows me to address my family’s displacement in the context of a militarized state, the traces created by entropy in the everyday and by museum spaces, and historiography as a critical form of creative production.

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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