Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

First Advisor

Sunanda Sanyal

Abstract

Perception as a set of sensory faculties affects our ability to relate to one another. Conversely, that mutual understanding affects our intuitive recognition and awareness of other variables in the physical world. This paper discusses the ways in which beauty and systematization can be cooperative in developing a visual language which encourages an audience to identify with conventionally difficult or uncomfortable subject matter; explicitly, that of disease or handicap. Furthermore, an argument is proposed for the creation and maximization of opportunities for empathetic awareness through specific conditions (or systems) of viewing, particularly those influenced by our direct—yet largely unconscious—interaction with aesthetically pleasing, finely-crafted objects. A summary of the ways in which my studio practice accomplishes this claim within the confines of contemporary critical discourse completes the essay.

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