Date of Award

5-9-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Stan Anderson, Associate Professor

Second Advisor

Jeff Boortz, Assistant Professor

Third Advisor

Liz Throop, Associate Professor

Abstract

Church of Kicks is an art installation that deals with product fetish, consumer behavior, and influential power of brands. Using the basketball sneaker consumer subculture as the main subject of focus the exhibit shows how excessive advertising and publication feeds into object idolization, which can lead to extreme, chaotic, and sometimes violent buying behavior. Given its almost identical characteristics with religion in terms of structure and the degree of influence on individuals, consumer culture is religion. By identifying the entities and methods that take part in raising hype and exploiting the extremes of a brand’s cult following, the exhibit makes an attempt to stimulate consumer self-reflection on their own product fetishes and the degree to which they are willing to go to satisfy the urge to fulfill a material obsession.

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