Date of Degree

9-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Patricia T. Clough

Subject Categories

American Art and Architecture | Architectural History and Criticism | Art Practice | Fine Arts | Politics and Social Change | Sculpture | Social History | Sociology of Culture | Theory and Criticism | United States History | Urban, Community and Regional Planning | Urban Studies and Planning

Keywords

Public Aesthetics, Parrhesia, Camouflage, Memory, Future-Feeding, Space and Social Control

Abstract

This paper will interrogate the ways in which ephemera from events affects the human and non- human environment and how the absence, manipulation or presence of traumatic trace weaves itself into the atmosphere of the past, present and future. It will look at space and the ways that trace manifests itself in hierarchal spaces and Lebbeus Woods’ concept of heterarchial spaces, which are organic and/or horizontally organized. A thread throughout is the question that if trace from trauma can exist in the visual field, i.e. the physical or digital landscape, in a way that maintains a discourse without perpetuating oppression. Works and spaces discussed to under- stand the implications of erasure, manipulation or spontaneous subjectivity span are pieces of art, museums, memorials and even an augmented reality game. Richard Serra’s Tilted Arc will be framed using Michel Foucault’s theories of social control and space from Discipline and Punish. Tilted Arc was erased, permanently eradicated from Lower Manhattan’s Federal Plaza in the dead of night after a contentious court battle. Mark Hansen’s work surrounding the future fee- ding of information will support a critique of traces that are problematized through institutions or the state, specifically looking at the Killing Fields Memorial Museum and the Tuol Sleng Geno- cide Museum in Cambodia. This paper will culminate with an inquiry surrounding agentic trace and how that can create space for individual subjectivity, such as with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Pokemon Go’s memorial to Tamir Rice and Ghost Bikes, using Michael Foucault and Maurizio Lazaratto’s ideas of parrhesia, or spontaneous subjectivity. This is an investigation of loss, in terms of who has the privilege to be remembered and how we can find spaces to leave trace so we, she, he, they and I never forgets.

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