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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

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

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



This written thesis, transit, accompanies an exhibition by the same name and serves to contextualize the exhibit. The written portion begins with an inquiry into the nature of the contextualization itself, questioning the nature of the relationship between the written thesis, the exhibit, and the University which explicitly requires and connects the two, especially the ways that the written word as granted authority through an institution of higher education might undermine the exhibit’s intent to provoke thought into other forms of knowledge and other avenues of legitimacy than those presented by this institution.

The thesis discusses the philosophic question sometimes called “the problem of reference” (how a word comes to refer to something in the world) as well as to the mystery of knowledge (how a human comes to know something). I discuss my own development of the artistic and poetic methods and concepts used in transit. I also inquire into the relationship between the conflicts in the cultures of the region, particularly during the time of the arrival of written language and capitalistic practices from Europe, and my struggle to understand and represent the ways that colonial concepts continue to dominate and frame our culture, even exhibits of art, such as transit, that work to cause thought, emotion, and reflection on other understandings of words, concepts, and knowledge through a physical de-stabilization of text and words.


First Advisor

Young Min Moon

Second Advisor

Susan Jahoda

Third Advisor

Robin Mandel