Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Kevin Zucker

Second Advisor

Angela Dufresne

Third Advisor

Jackie Gendel


A bulky, inflamed, excess volume of overactive targeted neuron choking nonsense that profits off creating fear-induced high-speed bowel movements.

My current work seeks to create space for intrusive thoughts and images that repeat, disturb, distress, and contaminate. The source of these intrusions is called the Broken Thought Machine(BTM). I use multimedia practices of drawing, sculpture, performance, and video to unearth the origins and properties of the BTM to then perpetuate its product to an absurd degree. This obsessive reiteration brings negativity to a threshold where horror and detachment can spontaneously metamorphose into humor and compassion.

The BTM can be an individual, a family, a society, and a planet. The work zooms in and out to see micro and macro manifestations of broken thought processes in individual and societal imagination networks. The work seeks to be a form of exposure therapy that processes the world through pieces ranging from video sequences spiraling into neurotic fractal imagery to disembodied drawings pierced by a rotary of toxic inner dialogues. The BTM is an inseparable part of our personal and collective anatomy that shatters and tramples harmony. By using art to pull the BTM's pants down around its ankles, fear can turn to laughter and Less Broken Thoughts (LBT's) can prevail.


View exhibition online: Michael Dispensa, The Broken Thought Machine [broh-kuhn thawt muh-sheen]

Included in

Painting Commons



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