Date of Award

5-7-2021

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Pamela Longobardi

Second Advisor

Craig Dongoski

Third Advisor

Jeremy Bolen

Fourth Advisor

Nedda Ahmed

Abstract

We secure important personal documents in safety deposit boxes at banks, yet every day we give away intimate details about ourselves online. My thesis exhibition Material Intelligence examines our relationship with big data through an interactive installation that metaphorically illustrates the data lifecycle: how data is produced, harvested, processed, and reconstructed. Material Intelligence uses discarded mail and other paper ephemera as physical signifiers of virtual information. A series of manipulations transforms the paper into raw material, which is then woven into a large-scale installation. Visitors to the gallery will observe this process; they will also have the opportunity to write down information about themselves and shred it. I will incorporate these new pieces of data into the larger work in real-time. Visualizing these hidden processes forces us to confront our complicity in big data and the information economy.

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