Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2020

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



State and corporate power have expanded and enforced their dominant territory and influence through the development of visual technology. Art and visual technology are inseparable. Thus, art has been utilized as an essential tool through which power glamorizes and visualizes its authority. Over the course of the modern age, power has increasingly adopted different strategies in order to conceal its appearance. In particular, the development of information and communication technology has enabled power to be not only invisible but also intangible. This thesis, "The Work of Art in The Age of Surveillance: Towards A Society of Civil Power," explores how art can be a societal tool of resistance and revolution against these powers. It does so through an examination of how these concepts have developed over time, including crucial historical developments in the realm of power and visual art. The thesis culminates with an analysis of how my body of work engages with these concepts. My work strives to both disclose and represent the invisibility and insubstantiality of power, focusing specifically on the practices of surveillance in the Information Age, as well as how interaction and solidarity among citizens can act as a means of civil resistance and empowerment. This thesis urges readers to become more aware of how power, whether seen or unseen, is present in their daily lives and the ways in which they can resist, react, and reform such practices.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Thesis Advisor

Meghan Kirkwood

Studio/Primary Advisor

Tim Portlock

Studio/Primary Advisor

Denise Ward-Brown

Committee Member

Richard Krueger

Committee Member

Richard Krueger