Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.


Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Reading the book Perform or Else by Jon Mckenzie along with the social distancing, isolation, and all the ongoing challenging and forced experiences of the 2020-21 Covid-19 pandemic era, on one hand, and my interests in performance art and physicality, on the other hand, made me think how can I create a work that represents an image of the body, the concept of action, and the idea of togetherness which are all essential for performance art, and/or for any performance.

All art disciplines combine theory and practice in order to depict the relationship between bodies, art, and education, and as history proves, theory is always intended to be put into practice. The theoretical and practical in this written thesis begins with its title This Is Not a Thesis; continues by furthering the idea of Perform or Else, asking instead Thesis or Else; and goes on to serve its purpose of being a theoretical concern, a narrative, a genre in and of itself, an exercise in authorship, and furthermore, function as a documentation of documentation of my art – performance – practice. The series of written pieces, performances (rejected proposals), and images (documents) compiled here are meant to create a space between authorship and performance art. This Is Not a Thesis demonstrates the rejection and acceptance of the same thing at the same time.


First Advisor

Jeff Kasper

Second Advisor

Susan Jahoda

Third Advisor

Young Min Moon

Fourth Advisor

Megan Lewis

Included in

Art Practice Commons