In Rift

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level





Mathew McConnell

Committee Member

Jeannie Hulen

Second Committee Member

John C. Kelley

Third Committee Member

Sam King

Fourth Committee Member

Alissa Walls


Communication and the arts, Digital media, Exhibitions, Fine arts, Video


In Rift is an exhibition of object, video, and sound installations investigating the process of embodying ambience from the natural world. As a whole, this work questions the distinct differences in experiencing a place psychologically, through the circulation of digital media, and holistically, in actual, present time. In Rift is comprised of two distinct works: Loose Liquids and Gorge. The first piece, Loose Liquids, contains specific imagery of water, rock, plant life, and digital blobs, combined with human cadence such as breathing, shivering, and rolling. This explores how a location’s details accumulatively contribute to an overall experience as we strive to embody and personify the things within our surrounding. The arrangement of screens illuminates the movements and memories of “things,” further defined as objects that self-arrange and possess the ability to affect human experience.

Gorge, contains two facing videos of steam and rock, providing an immersive experience among dissipating particles and low-frequency sound. Amorphous, golden objects function as an emblem for romantic consumerism, and the visually enticing, and idealized attraction to nature. Dispersed as a field, these golden clay objects sit on shiny, gridded plates, in reference to the digital screen. As the word Rift defines an open space split between two geological formations, this work investigates the in-between, transitional states of perception and experience, body and mind.