Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Artifice: Deconstructing the Divide Between Natural and Synthetic Environments
by Ward, Kelsie, M.F.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2016, 35; 10132959
Abstract (Summary)

The 18th century poet and writer Samuel Johnson claimed, “Deviation from nature is deviation from happiness.” I have found this assertion to hold true. In one way or another, nature has always been an important part of my life. I am drawn to its intricacies and inherent complexities—characteristics that I both appreciate, but also struggle to understand. According to research, spending time in nature is psychologically important for humans, but today’s technologically reliant society seems to be losing that connection. Even when we are “in nature” often times these places are merely an artificial representation, not truly natural. For instance, a park in the middle of a city serves as a contrived natural environment for the city’s inhabitants, but, again, it is then constructed, not actually an organic experience. For me, nature is a place where one is surrounded by plants, land, and animals that still hold their unaltered characteristics—places that lack human culture and have been minimally interrupted by contemporary society. My work creates space for viewers to inhabit which mimics these natural environments synthetically.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Page, Joseph
Commitee: Dimick, Brigham, Dresang, Paul, Duhigg, Thad
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Art and Design
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Art Criticism
Keywords: Environment, Installation, Nature, Rocks, Sculpture, Synthetic
Publication Number: 10132959
ISBN: 978-1-339-91451-0
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