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Polyvocal Mixtape: Positionality

By Ryan Davis

Polyvocal Mixtape: Positionality exhibited March 23-April 17th as my graduate thesis exhibition at Majestic Galleries in Nelsonville, Ohio. This exhibition consists of a series of paintings, screenprints and audio works. I create works through various formats that display an expansion of narratives within Black identity, experimenting with how physical positioning affects the ability to unravel these narratives. Each one of the fifty-seven screenprints is an image of different Black African-American individual constructed simultaneously by negative and positive compositions. These images shift based on one’s physical positioning. The images are negative composites; however, when the Black reflective surface is caught by raking light, the inverse of the negative composite can be perceived. The reflective nature of the surface also mirrors the image of the viewer if he or she is standing...

Chantier

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Chantier is a feature length, experimental film constructed by linking together a series of six short narratives. Chantier attempts to locate possible survival strategies in the replacement of the unity of the subject with an unending process of subjectification based in multiplicity and becoming. Chantier’s narratives feature the same actress playing several different characters, raising the question of how and if these women are the same, or if the uncanny resemblance is merely coincidental.   Chantier is also an experiment in filmmaking praxis. The crew consisted of only myself and my collaborator, Megan Marzec, who wrote and stars in the film. We chose to shoot the film on outdated mini-dv and hi8 tape cameras provided by the Create Space and the OU School of Film, allowing us a high degree of mobility and a budget of $0 for our equipment. The low quality of the image...

Splat! an Interactive Presentation at the Student Expo 2016

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Splat! is both a short film and an interactive film. The latter was presented at the Ohio University Student Expo for all ages to enter the whimsical world of the film in which Bubbles and Puddles are real. The project began with the image of a person stuck in the 2D plane of a puddle. Passersby ride over, stomp and poke until the Puddle Person boils in rage, sending Bubble People all throughout the air. The film was made by means of video compositing, which involves a layering of video a lot like collage. With the amazing capability of green screen key technology, we were able to eliminate swathes of the real world to build a fictional fragmented universe. The interactive version of the film was presented at the Expo April 14 2016. Community members bounced on a trampoline covered in green fabric, which was digitally remastered to appear as a reactive Puddle Person on-screen. The more...

Illuminated Gown

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For this exploration of incorporating LED technology into a stage costume I made use of an Arduino LilyPad, a small microphone, several LEDS, EL-wire, and fiber optic fabric to make a gown light up in response to sound. The microphone hidden in the front of the dress takes the input audio signal sends it to the Arduino which is running a Fast Fourier Transform. The program breaks the signal down into a range of frequencies that will trigger an LED if over a certain threshold. The CREATE_space was instrumental in providing equipment that allowed me to test the idea as well as putting me in contact with knowledgeable Arduino programmers. The initial idea of the gown was to also have it be DMX compatible. In the theatre world, the stage lights all respond to a DMX system, so it would be beneficial to have the lighting elements in the dress respond wirelessly to the same type of signal....

I Searched for Satisfaction Through Destruction

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I Searched For Satisfaction Through Destruction (2016) is a project in which I buried myself under nearly 800 lbs of quartz. My intent for this piece was to put myself in a situation where I had no control, but rather the control lied in the hands of someone else. I would be buried to the point that I could no longer move, and once fear and panic set in, I would have no other choice but to be contemplative in order to remain calm, while the assistant unburied me. But I did have control, and I could move. So it turned into a question of endurance because I felt like I was being force-fed rocks. And I tried to pull my head away from the earth that entered my mouth and the worms that wriggled on my neck But there was nowhere to go. And in that hour my body disappeared, and I became everyone else— A surrogate for humiliation, naked and convulsing in the grass. Through struggle, I aim to...

Thread for Filth

By Rachel Bender

Drag is an act of gender disruption. It mocks rigid views of gender by pulling back the curtain and forcing us to acknowledge the performative aspects of gender presentation. It parodies the social expectations placed on men and women by taking conventions to their extremes and reveling in the ridiculousness of what we’re left with. My current work explores gender, how we teach children about gender, the prejudices we all have within us relating to gender, and the incredible influence that the environments we were raised in have on what we consider to be ideal, acceptable, and improper on those topics. As a consumer of drag culture, I see the potential of using the visually stunning and attention grabbing aspects of drag as a means of enticing viewers, who may be resistant otherwise, into the conversation about our culture’s rigid parameters on gender and what is deemed appropriate for...

Cake Tent Projection

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I used a pocket projector to create projections inside of a tent for my final critique. The tent was made out of fake fur and was about 6 feet long. The observer could see the projection by looking into the opening of the tent, or crawling inside the tent. The projection was a 2-minute loop of a google search for certain photographs of different cakes. With this piece I explored liminality, personal motives, shame, ritual, and shared experience.        

Zeno

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How can we discern the exact point in time during which one moment transitions into the next? The philosopher Zeno of Elea developed four paradoxes querying the contradictory nature of space and time. If one moment can be broken down infinitely, how is transition possible? This is Zeno at its core: straddling the boundary between motion and stillness, between existence and nonexistence. Zeno combines an inaccessible, large-scale world with its microscopic counterpart, available solely through the representation of a past moment. Although the viewer’s visual access to the objects is limited he or she can nevertheless change how they are seen simply by observing them. By referencing the human body in this interaction, Zeno asks, “How does the act of observation change how we view ourselves and others?”          ...

Someone/Anyone

By Steph Wadman

Someone/Anyone acts as both the title of my MFA thesis exhibition and as qualifier for any individual that you may meet. My thesis exhibition combined object making that challenged my audience to make eye contact with each other with a textual piece gathered from Craigslist. The Craigslist project uses personal ‘strictly platonic’ seeking ads from Craigslist to highlight the vast need for human intimacy and contact, and highlights a small local percentage of people who seek to find it by divertive means. Using Craigslist ads I search the words ‘someone’ and ‘anyone’ to narrow the search down to those that are in search of basic human interaction and the possibilities that it holds. I then collect contextualized areas of the bodies of text, as well as the web addresses, and compose a poem/list out of the contextualized ‘someone’ or...

Quidditch World Cup

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I am a proud member of the OU Quidditch team and last fall we qualified in regionals to travel to Columbia, South Carolina in April for the US Quidditch Cup. Since it was the first year that we were able to qualify on our own, and because I thought it would be fun, I decided to document our trip by bringing down a few cameras. As I only owned one DSLR, I turned to CREATE_space for another camera as well as a tripod that could steady some of the video. I captured over 75 min of footage including the trip down, a few of our games and our interactions off field. I will be happy to share once it’s been completed!        

Uninformed Anonymous

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For the last few months my classmates and I have been working on a campaign for the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus’ local newspaper. The Dispatch wants people our age to start caring about and reading the news. We went through a long process of defining the problem, doing our research and finally forming an insight. We then began coming up with our creative ideas; the physical solution to the problem. Uninformed Anonymous is our solution. The campaign follows a group of slightly informed individuals who meet every week to talk about the problems that arise in their lives when they don’t read the news. It follows a cast of characters, like Stephen, a former salesman whose life spiraled out of control once he discovered that all he ever knew about was selling plumbing, and Robert, who’s been informed for six months, although he has his vices. This is the first websiode, in...

weathered-world

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As part of The Game Show, which ran from February 26th to April 9th, at EASE gallery in Columbus, Ohio, writers Kristin Distel and Wendy McVicker, visual artist Melissa Neiderhiser, and myself created a multimedia installation. The piece entitled “weathered-world” was a collaborative exploration into the division between air and ground. Bringing together video, writing, and textile we sought to explore a layered sense of being in the world.        

Fruition

By Raymond Perez

As a young black man, growing up in a predominantly white suburb, I was immersed in an environment that exposed racial bias and discrimination on a personal and communal level. Fruition is a body of work made up of sculpture, installation, and time-based media that documents the “post racial” world around me; as a way to get a better understanding of a culture that I am apart of, but was not raised in. At the same time, the work speaks to something larger, calling for societal reflection as a whole. Using the reference of a school setting, this work is a reflection of the way education shaped my perceptions of race. The American educational system serves as an institution where our children are taught of their history and core values that shapes their path to adulthood; they also function as ground zero for the stereotyping of African-American men as troublemakers, criminals and thugs....

Narcissus Now

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This semester I used CREATE_space equipment to produce and exhibit several short video art pieces. I recorded myself (with the help of a friend) outdoors with a Panasonic video camera from the lab and used iMovie to edit the footage together. The project works in tandem with my paintings, which have recently involved simulating digital inversion, and using those inverted colors to spark a discussion on the myth of Narcissus (and Narcissism) and the nature of Classical painting. Video is like a modern art form, and it’s much more accessible than painting to most people. Working in both mediums has allowed me to experiment with my own artistic style, which is incredibly important. I presented all of these projects at the Student Expo, where I used tablets and a project from the CREATE_space to bring my creations to life!        ...

Atlas of Athens: A Visual Literacy of Place

By Misty Thomas-Trout

“Atlas of Athens: A Visual Literacy of Place” is a case-study that visualizes the network of people working together in Athens. “Atlas of Athens” came about through the recognition of how I changed my own behaviors due to the interaction with the people and the culture of this place. This research project is an effort to convey the connections that strengthen the economic health of this community and how place affects the individual. It suggests the value of strengthening the relationship between design, humanity, people and the environment. The results of this research demonstrate that support for direct, first-hand relationships and local economic networks and how they affect human patterns of behavior and foster positive change in small communities such as Athens. More importantly, this research is showing how people connect with one another and how they...

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