Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Graphic Design

First Advisor

Bethany Johns

Second Advisor

Nancy Skolos

Third Advisor

James Goggin

Abstract

Building an official archive, a comprehensive depository of cultural memory, is an impossible pursuit.My work centers around the question: what gets lost in the capture ? Responding to this problematic, I create “speculative archives”— setting the practice of archiving against the archive. In doing so, my display systems (including photography, film and writing) reveal countless ruptures, even blind spots, in the smooth surfaces of the archive: the invisibility of the archivist, the challenge of capturing ephemera, the inherent value bias in collecting, and the inexhaustibility of documenting a subject.

Speculating on the archive has consequence for design practice. From the subjects we chose to represent to the formats we present them with, we can crack open assumed narratives, celebrating the problematics which pour forward. Through my work, unexpected archives become inexhaustible, buried archives become dignified, and hegemonic archives become self-reflexive and un- stable. It is a practice that helps us identify the richness of our own lives, so as to not let our experiences, during our time, slip through our fingers.

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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