Boundary Crossings

Boundary Crossings (thesis cover image)Boundary Crossings { object | exhibition | installation } was submitted December 20, 2011 in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts and approved by the MFA Design Review Board of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

A documentary media maker is one who observes the world, decides what to record using a variety of tools, grasps the meaning of what has been recorded, and finds a structure that conveys a cohesive story with a particular relationship to the historical world.

The work described in this thesis provides a basis for understanding documentary construction as a process of crossing boundaries: what we create is defined similarly by borders and interiors, each with their own function and value. I examine the contours of the experience of observing events in the social-historical world and sharing traces of those events with others.

Boundary crossings are examined through the analysis of three projects: Hawt Couch, an object that shares its memory of past events; Provocative Objects, an exhibition and exhibi- tion catalog that interrogates the limitations of traditional documentation; and This Place in a Space, an installation offering visitors the opportunity to experience one or both sides of the objective/subjective divide.

Using a framework encompassing issues of immersion, computational media, and boundary crossings, each project is contextualized with connections to dynamic media, design, cinema, narratology, philosophy, and installation art.

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