Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2019

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type



This text examines the complexity of attempting to empathize with bodies that are vastly othered from my own. This broad yet nuanced subject crosses epistemological boundaries and complicates the dualities between both the mind and body, and between the corporeal and the virtual. My desire to better understand the conditions of another’s experience originates from a painful traumatic loss which caused me to feel isolated and incomplete. In response to this suffering, I long to emotionally connect with other beings and create artwork that attempts to bridge the qualia of individual experience.

I am interested in the capacity (or lack thereof) to empathize with othered bodies; human, animal, non-human and virtual. As a result, my work involves discourse around the parameters that constitute being considered alive, the ability of cross-species empathy through shared experiences of embodiment, as well as corporeal relationships with digital technology and cyberspace. I utilize the media of digital photography along with 3D modeling and animation software to create abject amalgams of human flesh. Through the freedom of the digital medium, I can visually depict internal conflict in a way that transcends corporeal limitations. I manipulate representations of tangible bodies, placing them in surreal non-spaces that I intend to be suggestive of psychological states or digital voids. By doing so, I hope to not only convey intangible emotions of pain, but also speak to the complexity of understanding corporeal indeterminacy and a fragmentation of identity within a virtual environment unbound by physical limitations.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Monika Weiss

Studio/Primary Advisor

Patricia Olynyk

Studio/Primary Advisor

Cheryl Wassenaar

Committee Member

Arnold Nadler

Committee Member

Ila Sheren

Artist's Statement