This is a statement I wrote on May 25, 2009 to help clarify the goals for my thesis project.
I cannot say I have a point of origin for my thesis work. I can neither say I have had a linear process. Exploration has been about a mishmash of experimentation, chance moves, research and making. Even doing things that don’t seem quite succinct to the path of my work have been important in helping develop and edit my focus – going to workshops, spending a day at a fiddle and banjo contest, watching the shadows grow on the wall as the sun sets…
My biggest challenge has been how to articulate my thoughts into words. I see things, I feel things, I have visuals in my head, but the one thing that I’ve been trying to do lately is anchor down my thesis work into plain English. So, what is my work all about? Sure, I’m interested in lighting and it’s relationship to human presence, but why? What do I want to evoke? What meaning do I want to convey? What’s different and how do my ideas relate to media design?
What I am about to say is still a work in progress. The words will evolve along with the work. After sifting through my work from this previous four terms several times, and going into a mental reclusion these past two weeks, I have pulled these points together (in no particular order):
1. I have an interest in existential experiences or in the idea that there’s something else in our surroundings that we are ignoring.
2. Light and motion are key technical elements in my work.
3. My work is inspired very much from nature and creatures in nature (i.e fireflies, water, jellyfish, translucent and bioluminescent organisms, etc.)
4. I want to create a body of work, or rather, a collection of pieces that can contrast between the macro and micro. The pieces in this collection will differ in form or scale, but will communicate a singular message. The exactness of that message is still being formulated – the first goals are to formulate a working elevator pitch and title.
5. I want those who interact with my work to notice things not usually noticeable, that are above and below our line of sight.
6. Things that are seemingly “empty” or blank still hold animate qualities that are microscopic or neglected by us – these are things I want to emphasize in my work.
It’s not so much that I want to surprise people, but more so that I want people to expand their range of perception and consciousness. How much do we really absorb our surroundings? Do we walk into a space and really look at every nook and cranny of that space? What subtleties can I bring into a space that will allow one to scan it more thoroughly, that will allow a person to be drawn to the otherwise ignored? I am interested in the seemingly invisible, in the things that go unnoticed but appear when they are “disturbed” by a certain level of our presence – by our vibrations, our sounds, our body heat, our physical contact with that space or object.
My goal is to create a collection of work (as stated in point no. 4) that relate to one another in their message, but are dissimilar in scale and form. I would like to create one to two installation projects, and one to two small to medium scaled objects. I want these projects to expand the perception that one has to that particular object or the particular space (which, in this case, will be the Media Design Studio in the Wind Tunnel for the duration of this thesis), in a way that gives a sense of life or breath to that object or space. It is the idea that something else exists in that space other than oneself.