Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Department

Kinetic Imaging

First Advisor

Ginsburg Hope

Abstract

My work is inspired by the mass Media and how it affects the world around me. I am interested in how violence, war and women are represented in popular culture and how this has trickled down into social behavior. I also wonder how much entertainment media reflects deep social ideals. I define mass media as the viral proliferation of ideas using television, cinema, video gaming and the Internet. I am concerned about the social and psychological affects of violent media and how it impacts the lives of women and girls. This is of particular interest to me because I am a woman who has grown up in a media-saturated culture. Many aspects of my life and my identity have been shaped through media influence. I frequently use source material collected from the Internet. My method is to choose a specific word or phrase, and then use search engines to retrieve the associated media. By doing this I am assured that, on any given day, the images and videos returned to me are those most disseminated in mass media for that particular subject. Once I have collected this media I regularly use it to create digital collages, multi channel sound compositions and animated video. There are two threads within this process that intersect as I am working through an idea. At times I manipulate media and synthesize new material to represent my own personal vantage point. This allows me to directly comment on popular media and how it affects my life. The other thread in my practice is the subversion of media to challenge its meaning. These two approaches enable me to comment on media using a format of art-making that is similar to mass media itself. By using appropriated images and sound from popular media I am adopting a language that is understood by media makers and consumers alike. Working in this vein allows me to insert my own voice into the ongoing media-driven dialogue and thus help shape its collective consciousness. At the root of this exploration is a deeply unsettling concern for how mass media shapes social behavior in a way that reduces the individual voice and strips its power to resist. Mass media influences culture but it can also represent collective thought and action. There is a relationship that exists between media and how people act in the real world. Media and consumer are caught in a kind of feedback loop and I question how the individual identity fares. How do women survive in a culture where the blending of entertainment and violence so often targets makes them a target? How has violent popular media affected my life and those around me? How can people secure a truly representative voice against the media that oppresses them? I want my art to push these boundaries so that marginalized voices can be heard.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

5-15-2009

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