BFA Theses

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    (2024) Sara Bystrom
    Abstract of project
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    (2024) Bystrom, Sara
    Abstract information written here. So fun!
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    Ivy Loughborough BFA Intermedia Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Ivy Loughborough

    My thesis project is a series of sculptural self-portraits, some of which incorporate lights or moving images. I’ve used a wide variety of media: all found, surplus, or scavenged objects and materials. I consider myself a gleaner, gathering broken pieces, saving scraps, collecting leftovers, and then transforming them. Each material has significance, whether it’s metaphorical, cultural, or personal, and I aim both to discover that meaning in the process of making, and reveal it to my audience.

    These fragmented materials represent the broken, lost, and reconstructed nature of visual perception. We recognize and remember faces as individual features, then fill in the blanks to construct a cohesive whole. By making these many iterations of my face, I’m trying to clarify the complex questions of what defines a face, and why faces are so important.

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    Aidan Jung Bosanko BFA Intermedia Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Aidan Jung Bosanko

    All Wrapped In Bodies is a collection of collaborative art projects. The intention behind this work was to bring together diverse communities by collaborating with and supporting different local emerging artists. I produced four music videos in collaboration with different local music producers. I also started an art collective and organized three community events highlighting work by 26 different Portland artists. The goal with each of these projects has been to resist our country’s current social and political atmosphere of separation, isolation and marginalization by providing a platform of resources and exhibition opportunities for artists to connect with community and share their creative perspectives.

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    Zachary Pescador BFA Video & Sound Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Zachary Pescador

    Merging material abstraction with representational form, I am interested in mining the slippages between images and objects found in digital and physical space. Specifically, I’m interested in manipulating and overlapping these spaces in attempts to dissolve geographical and cultural separations. This overlap is inspired by my time roaming video game zones, aimlessly wandering and projecting onto the digital collage space. The zones found within video games collage disparate forms of media and transform media and genres into a new ideas and shapes of what they were. We are left with the ruins of systems and vague glimpses of a world.

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    Ben Glas BFA Video & Sound Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Benjamin Glas-Hochstettler
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    Valeriya Gayevskaya BFA Intermedia Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Valeriya Gayevskaya

    How Can You Be In Two Places At Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All is an installation composed of a Soviet bus stop, print, video and sound to show the way that someone with an immigrant identity lives in and experiences liminal space between their birth country and the one they immigrated to. Immigrant children live in a space between two worlds: a gap that cannot be closed. We are forced to make decisions on how we interact and move in between these spaces. It is a survival skill: learning to over analyze a situation to make sure you do not say the wrong thing or make the wrong move. Some may choose one identity over the other, to show parts and pieces of each, others to completely try to disregard both and form a new identity. No matter how hard we try, neither of our homeland identities and the identity of the place where we grew up could be separated. Alluding to a space where travel occurs I constructed a Soviet bus stop focusing on a physical space between two worlds. As strange as standing in a doorway, the bus stop is a waiting space between two destinations. Inside and out, it is affected by the environment and the people that pass through it; the weathering of the material it is built out of, signage plastered on as advertisements, and the overall use by people all play a part in building character and a history within the space. By bringing a space from the Soviet era into an American one, a clash is created in the contrast between the two. Creating confusion in a viewer by limiting access using layers of language and imagery, the viewer too can feel like they are in a space between two worlds.

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    Casey Finn BFA Intermedia Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Casey Finn

    Analog Oceans and Nuclear Fusion is a triple channel panoramic projection in the shape of a broken circle. You can’t go outside of the circle, you can only go inside of it; into total immersion. Surrounding you, a fabric constantly activated by found footage. The fabric’s smooth surface allows the screen’s form and visual content to be emphasized. The silence accentuates the visual immersion and screen shape. The footage is from my own personal 16mm collection and online archives. I have minimized temporal signifiers with the exception of the frailty of analog film: the scratches, color transformations, and glitches. This indicates a sense of time and history. The past is collected and crystallized into the present viewing experience.

    Watch the film of the installation here:

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    Hannah Schill BFA Animated Arts Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Hannah Schill

    Fishkill is a concept for an animated horror-drama television series about the inhabitants of a small Colorado town, who in the aftermath of a massive local earthquake must contend with the sudden appearance of monsters in their community. The series uses the tradition of monster-as-metaphor storytelling to explore themes of mob mentality, “othering” as a form of violence, physical manifestations of a collective unconscious, and the dark underbelly of small towns in the American west. The two main characters, Frankie and Wesson, must contend with the roles they’re forced into by the rest of the town, and struggle with placing morality above compliance with tradition, all while trying to survive the monsters closing in around their town. Fishkill is a concept for an animated horror-drama television series about the inhabitants of a small Colorado town, who in the aftermath of a massive local earthquake must contend with the sudden appearance of monsters in their community. The series uses the tradition of monster-as-metaphor storytelling to explore themes of mob mentality, “othering” as a form of violence, physical manifestations of a collective unconscious, and the dark underbelly of small towns in the American west. The two main characters, Frankie and Wesson, must contend with the roles they’re forced into by the rest of the town, and struggle with placing morality above compliance with tradition, all while trying to survive the monsters closing in around their town.

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    Ari Gabriel BFA Animated Arts Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Ari Gabriel

    I dreamt of words floating in the eaves and cloth catching fragmented selves, and I, like a bird in a chimney waiting for the fire, I dreamt of that house. Gods of the House Do Not Perform Miracles is an animated installation utilizing stop-motion animation, film, and spoken word.

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    Tanya Gonzalez BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Tanya Gonzalez

    This series is based off of my religious upbringing and my interest in queer culture. This series discusses the dichotomy between queer identities and religious identities. Through this series, I have visually depicted a response to the social rejection of queerness within religion and within politics. I chose to depict local drag performers as religious idols, specifically as patron saints. My process for selecting the performers was based off of research I have done on how influential they are in the community. This year, I felt the need to focus more on creating a political statement through my art. I wanted to use the likeness of people I admire, both for their performative work but also for the principals they stand for. This work is also about giving back a sense of security that has previously been lost on me while I was growing up with being religious and being queer at the same time. My relationship with religion is estranged but I have been learning how to cope with concepts of existence through the support of friends and family. My future goal for this series is to find more examples of commendable performers and to somehow incorporate my art into social causes for the queer community. I want my art to be used to benefit others and now is the time to band together and to stand unified.

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    Aaron Smith BFA General Fine Arts Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Aaron Smith

    Collaborations is a joint effort between Aaron Smith and Colin Cathey who are organizers of participatory events. The panels and drawings that you see in front of you are artifacts from these events; we’ve been applying the term Happening to these because it helps describe the participatory, performative, and impromptu qualities of these collective actions. The work ultimately is about setting up a collaborative experience where participants can engage in a very automated state of creative energy exploring the physicality of mark making, sound and movement.

    The inquiry is about exploring the language of mark making and how it correlates into understanding the dynamic of the Happenings themselves with a focus on how participants styles push and pull and influence one another. It has gradually become a process of engaging in this communal energy with friends and allowing it to teach us about the visual language of painting. Chance is a central influence and is the main guiding principle. The work operates very much on its own with us and the other participants functioning as vessels under the collective influence of the work.

    Conceptually this work is trying to live outside the realms of the consumer marketplace
    from a cultural and socio political perspective while also sharing a strong resemblance to the philosophy of the Fluxus and Gutai. The work is meant to be in opposition to professionalism and the pretentious, serious and inaccessible aspects of the traditional art scene while also focusing to explore the pure vitality of these mediums. The materials are just the materials and speak for themselves. The work utilizes the vocabulary of play, automatism, and action painting within the context of community involvement.

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    Andrew Newell BFA Sculpture Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Andrew Newell

    This work has been driven by the idea of the technological Singularity. Like science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke’s famous adage says, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Once humans build a self-improving intelligence we will have effectively created a machine god. This machine will be infinitely more intelligent and capable than humans. I believe this could result in the complete loss of human autonomy. This work uses religion to talk about the development of intelligences greater than our own and what effects they may have on humanity. It draws parallels between religion and humanity’s dependence on technology and points to both as means of social and moral control.

    These sculptures are a cautionary tale, meant to make the viewer ask themselves about the future of humanity and its development of technology. These pieces are constructed primarily from discarded objects sourced from the refuse of everyday life and cheap or secondhand materials. By viewing these sculptures the audience is asked to look at the technological methods of control that have subtly affected their lives and to imagine futures where those methods are taken to an extreme. These works demonstrate that the road to Singularity will be a rocky one that poses risks to humanity’s future.

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    Austin Salazar BFA Painting Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Austin Salazar

    Starting from a place of confusion, and feeling lost, I wanted to break free from myself. I abandoned a conceptual framework and created the work first, focusing on the intuitive decisions made during the process rather than working towards a predetermined goal. Through a blind exploration of materials, line, marks, color, and composition, I’ve created a playful and eccentric body of work. The result is a combination of graphic characters, toy-like contraptions, and ambiguous mark making.

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    Jessie Siegel BFA Printmaking Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Jesse Siegel

    Correspondencias is a research project, a publication and an exhibition. The goal is to document urban developments as a marker of place. In my research I investigate the perceived value of my hometown – Cancun, Mexico – as a place which is perceived to have no historical context within Mexico and the world. Cancun is seemingly only popular context is provided by visitors, who feel entitled to represent it as they experienced it. A facade of a place via manicured experiences. Defying expectations of viewers that encounter information about Cancun is at the core of this project.

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    Madison Clark Camcam BFA Painting Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Madison Clark

    Do you know what it was like to lose you? includes three large, unstretched oil paintings hung on dowels like tapestries.  The paintings became a materialization of non-linear recollection and imagination.  The representation of such relies on a variety of ways of painting and aesthetic influences.  This mash-up weaves together imagery from a place, time, and family that I no longer belong to.  

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    Emma Parry BFA Painting Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Emma Parry

    My practice is heavily process oriented. I find myself asking a lot of questions, and through the process of drawing and painting, I am able to find answers, and most of all more questions. The process of painting and drawing allows me to investigate the ways that I interact with the world, by slowing down and reflecting on what is really there and what has been missed. My work focuses on the limitations that my own perception has while questioning my habits of seeing. Through different methodologies of meaning making, I reflect on my perception as well as myself. This work is a series of observational drawings which have come from photographs that I have taken and posted onto instagram. Each sheet of paper depicts a corner of a photograph in chronological order that the photographs were posted in. The drawings are made starting at the top left hand corner, moving to the right, until the row is complete, then I move onto the next row. When I am drawing the information which is presented within the photograph I am able to see what is missed through my own lense. I am able to notice what was once the background. The background, corner, is now at the foreground. I find an infinite unknowing as well as an infinite opportunity of growth through my own lens with these drawings.

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    Kendrick Corp BFA Painting Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Kendrick Corp

    My intent was to create a body of work that exists as more than the sum of its parts; for each piece to be able to function in a unique, distinct way aside from every other piece, yet, remain a cohesive body of work when each piece came together to form said body. While considering the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance formulated by Leon Festinger in the mid-20th Century and researching the philosophy of love and its various manifestations, I have created and archived a personal symbolic lexicon that serves as a foundation for emergent structures to develop, aiding in compositional generation. Through painting as a medium, I am attempting to create discrete narratives with myself regarding such topical themes as sexuality, gender identity, masculinity and femininity, consumerism, socio-political current events, an ethic of love, personal histories, and Art History. These discrete narratives, in conjunction with my own symbolic lexicon, allow for the creation of dynamic, engaging compositions that serve as a vehicle to allow room for personal assuagement to personal dissonances. I do this through aesthetic jest.

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    Matt Rodenbeck BFA Illustration Thesis Fall 2017
    (2017-11-01) Matt Rodenbeck

    Synesthesia is a project examining my personal synesthetic experience and how I might best express those experiences through motion graphics. Using five songs, I explore different approaches to this core concept.

    Two of the five songs are my own works, while the other three are my own edited versions of clips from prominent musicians in the genres I outlined at the beginning of this project. The genres are as follows: Bitcrush, Funk, Glitch and Electro Swing. Each piece focuses on a different aspect of motion graphics, as this world was still new to me when I set out on this project and I wanted to get my hands into as much as possible. BITCRUSH focuses on color and some basic vector effects and my first-ever use of a particle generator! FUNKYA focuses on vector artwork and animation. GLITCH focuses more heavily on video effects and typographic treatments. SWING focuses on bringing all these things together (except particle generators). The title piece is less important than the others, but it represents the neural activity that causes synesthesia to happen.
    The colors and patterns are like neurons lighting up and reading letters as more than what they are, a very literal representation of my color-grapheme synesthesia.

    There are numerous tweaks and fixes that could be made, but this project has lit a fire in me to continue exploring this world and the potential applications of this new skill set. Post-college I am interested in pursuing either broadcast design (title sequences for tv shows, news graphics, etc.) or UX/UI design in apps and/or video games.