Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2014

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



The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the hierarchical order of animal and how, as an artist, I construct images to transform our way of understanding our relationship with animals. I achieve this by addressing the history of taxonomic hierarchies; the role that photographic and filmic images has played in supporting our relationship with this hierarchy and by looking at how parks ands and zoos are designed to present the animal as a spectacle for our pleasure and entertainment. Filmic and photographic images have played into hierarchical thinking reinforcing separation by a manner of looking and depicting. Our imposed human constructs of national parks, and our sculpted local parks, and manufactured zoological exhibits, are all examples of mediations of wilderness. I use film and photography as a way to question hierarchical thinking and our relationship with animal's manner of looking at animal hierarchy. That can only happen when somebody like the artist (perceiver) can see beyond images we already have and make new images for us to think through and make another understanding of the world.


English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Second Committee Member

Monika Weiss

Artist's Statement

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