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Reality?: Social Media, Identity, and the Taboo of Imperfection

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Social media has forced us to more publicly define who we should be apart from who we are. In the age of technology, there is an increased societal pressure to hide imperfection - to keep the raw, sensitive aspects of

Social media has forced us to more publicly define who we should be apart from who we are. In the age of technology, there is an increased societal pressure to hide imperfection - to keep the raw, sensitive aspects of our lives to ourselves. For my honors thesis/creative project, I chose to explore the disparities between the lives we share in person and the lives we share online. As a BFA student in Ceramics, I wanted to use the skills and techniques I've acquired throughout my years in college to visually represent my personal observations of social media use, identity in the age of technology, and the taboo of imperfection. My motivation for this project was to question, what is reality? I believe social media has led to an environment of under sharing. We share what's easy, what's happy, what's comfortable. Either that, or we focus on the negative, discounting the blessings and privilege we are so lucky to have. Positive or negative, this platform is a shallow way to communicate and understand humanity. There is always some underlying insecurity, anxiety, or tragedy behind every success or celebration. After reflecting on these insights, I continued my research by exploring aspects of different imagery, form, and function in clay. Ultimately, I decided to create a series of four interactive head sculptures. My main objectives for these sculptures were to embody issues of mental health, reference social media, and to have the viewer interact with the pieces.

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Date Created
2018-05

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Native Atmosphere

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This thesis explores the introduction of Virgil Ortiz’s traditional Cochiti pueblo ceramic techniques and iconic imagery into the world of contemporary atmospheric high fired ceramics. Virgil is a multidimensional artist who has been working in ceramics since the age of

This thesis explores the introduction of Virgil Ortiz’s traditional Cochiti pueblo ceramic techniques and iconic imagery into the world of contemporary atmospheric high fired ceramics. Virgil is a multidimensional artist who has been working in ceramics since the age of 12, practicing the traditional hand building and decoration methods of his ancestral pueblo (1 traditional work) . In recent years, Virgil has begun to explore the use of modern materials and firing techniques in order to further his work and break into the contemporary ceramics community (2 modern materials). Virgil’s style is very figurative, sculpting human and human-like figures, and illustrating large vessels in the Cochiti traditional style, while incorporating his own characters, story lines and social commentaries.
Virgil and I met in 2019 while Virgil was performing a ceramics demo at the ASU Ceramics facilities. We collaborated on Virgil’s first line of completely handmade functional wares for his collaborative show at the ReVOlt gallery for Indian Market, Santa Fe 2019. In 2020, Virgil came to ASU as a visiting artist faculty and began work on larger pieces using more sculptural clays and exploring internal support structures under the guidance of myself and artist Ben Jackel. Seeing this large work and the opportunity to build on this, renowned art critic and appraiser Peter Held brought myself and Virgil to Reitz Ranch Center for Ceramic Arts, the former studio and home of Don Reitz. Don was an American master, building huge vessels and sculptures and firing them in salt, soda and wood kilns built on his property. He built a particularly larger Anagama style kiln, deemed the Reitz-agama, which measures 60in tall and 30 feet deep, specifically to be able to wood fire his massive wares. Don’s work is visceral and emotional, made with a heavy hand and minimally glazed, allowing for the buildup of wood ash and salt from the atmospheric firings to complete their surfaces. The ranch still holds all of his kilns, and hundreds of his pieces from years of success and failures. The owner of the ranch Sheryl Leigh-Devault, and Don’s former assistant Ben Roti, invited Virgil and I up to work at the ranch any time we wanted during this visit, and due to the closures of ASU studios and a desire to push our work together further than we ever had before, we orchestrated a week visit. This week visit developed into two weeks, and had since developed further into a one and a half month short term quarantine residency.

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Date Created
2020-05

hasta mañana

Description

Migration is natural, a human right, and to some extent, it is seen, allowed, and digested but by what bodies? Whose bodies? Who is given the privilege of range of motion, and who is chained to a ground, underground, buried?

Migration is natural, a human right, and to some extent, it is seen, allowed, and digested but by what bodies? Whose bodies? Who is given the privilege of range of motion, and who is chained to a ground, underground, buried?
Through a questioning of migration, a mechanism of movement, and its criminalization from the states through the establishment of citizenry, I aim to declare autonomy, and seek a dissection of what it means to criminalize, to establish, render a community as other.

Hasta mañana is a prayer to my parents’ bodies,
to bodies crossing the border,
to bodies displaced,
to bodies that never made it,
to bodies dug up,
buried,
Chained,
Hurting,
Aging,
to bodies I feel and see.

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Date Created
2020-05

The Beauty Within

Description

The Beauty Within is a ceramics show displaying human body anatomy, which seeks to bridge aspects of my biological sciences major in the School of Life Sciences with aspects of my studio art minor in the Herberger Institute for Design

The Beauty Within is a ceramics show displaying human body anatomy, which seeks to bridge aspects of my biological sciences major in the School of Life Sciences with aspects of my studio art minor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. My goal in creating the show was to change the opinion of people on human body organs from unease to admiration by recreating these organs in an artistic light. By stylizing the construction of the pieces and bringing in the contemporary form of art \u2014 makeup art \u2014 I hoped to bring a new light to the pieces and highlight the beauty within the human body. By leaving the pieces partly unfinished I further hoped to draw attention to the natural beauty within the pieces regardless of the makeup that covers them. By holding the show in the human anatomy lab room on campus and having both animal and human organs on display I was able to create that sense of disgust toward the organs in the viewers. The beauty of my created pieces was then directly contrasted with the disgust felt about the real organs by displaying each of my pieces next to a real organ. The reactions of the viewers reflected a change in view from the actual organs to my re-created organs, and therefore the goal of the show was achieved.

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Date Created
2017-05