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.
Open Access Thesis
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
“MeatSpace” is a group of related bodies of work including podcasts, prints and videos produced by working with simulation technologies such as “weak A.I.”, virtual reality, and 3d scans. Collectively the works explore how people relate to these technologies and how they relate to us. They share thematic or process-oriented sensibilities involving a series of rule-based steps that alternate between the procedural and the intentional. “Uncanny” is defined as strangely familiar. Something which falls in the Uncanny Valley feels wrong, but the reasons may be difficult to articulate. “MeatSpace” is an ongoing experiment to see where our own digital reflections fall in an uncanny spectrum of unsettling familiarity. I am continuously assessing the meaning of words like “consciousness" and “choice”, wondering if they are simply interpretations of randomness and determinism. So I search for genuine glimmers of agency in technologies from the present and the past to better understand my own. The groupings within “MeatSpace” are titled “The Intrinsia Chatbox” (podcast), “Outside the Chatbox” (podcast), “Sweet Space/Spatial Awareness”(prints, video, augmented reality), “Formulaics”(music videos), and “Texture Maps/Morph Maps” (prints, video). “MeatSpace” uses manipulation of photogrammetry, volumetric video capture, procedural music generation, animations made in virtual reality, and a video podcast which showcases conversations with chatbots. I see these as acts of collaboration and play with the digital world and it’s developing tools and inhabitants. These processes employ both randomness and control, operating between meatspace and the digital world, between comfort and the uncanny valley.
Patricia Galvis Assmus
Criscuolo, Nicholas M., "MeatSpace" (2019). Masters Theses. 825.