Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Inside of an outside in time time: Thoughtitarium
by Mathis, Neil W., M.F.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 10; 1603757
Abstract (Summary)

Since the Devonian Period, 360 million years ago, trees have been foundational for the survival of aerobic life. Today, most humans relate to trees through the idea, material and commodity of wood. This understanding is primarily informed by its use as a building material: the formal attributes of its grain pattern read to assess structural integrity and aesthetic applications. I think of these marks as autonomous and unique natural drawings, documenting time in a scale different from our lifespan. Wood’s composition of cellulose and lignin create patterns that record temporal fluctuations in precipitation and the unique soil compounds of each tree’s growth site as a codex. As an MFA candidate, I used woodworking techniques to explore the relationship between temporality and materiality. Along the way, I became interested in the reductive carving techniques of woodturning as a metaphor for this investigation: cutting through layers of time. Small segments of wood were laminated together in mathematical patterns and turned to reveal parabolic grids on the interior and exterior surface of each object. This study led me to consider the limitations that traditional art display conventions impose on the viewer’s perception of an artwork, and to the realization of the Thoughtitarium; an eight-foot diameter fiberglass hemisphere that hovered above the gallery floor in architectural scale.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Crockett, Bryan
Commitee: Sitter-Shrock, Rebecca, Taber, Ryan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Art, School of
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 55/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Art education, Art Criticism, Architecture
Keywords: Sculpture, Wood
Publication Number: 1603757
ISBN: 9781339235141
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