Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2017

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)




Open to the Public: The Political Zoo is a two-part project that began as an experiment, a creative curiosity into the intersections of co-authorship, political censorship, and mail art. Spurred in a moment when the news media is being challenged by those in the highest offices, the analog nature of this project explores the potential of a world in which online self-expression is hindered. Mail art projects, while out of the box in this digital era, are situated in a history of 20th century artistic practices. Used as a tool for creative exploration and community in Western countries, in Eastern Europe and Latin America, mail art became a way to evade totalitarian regimes that controlled and censored other forms of media, such as the news. This paper will examine the connections between collage, mail art, politics, and poetry citing historical and contemporary figures in each realm and those who identified in between them. Open to the Public: The Political Zoo seeks to conflate the author and audience, allowing creators and non-creators the opportunity to venture into unchartered territory.

Mentor/Primary Advisor

Michael Byron