Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Degree Program

Studio Art and Design, MFA

Committee Chair

Chan, Ying Kit

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Calvert, Tiffany

Committee Member

Calvert, Tiffany

Committee Member

Goldenthul, Zhanna

Committee Member

Massey, Scott

Author's Keywords

authenticity; extended self; exchange, use, and sign values; transition object; marketing; contamination


The works in "Thinging” are inspired by desire, the genuine and the false, systems of real and perceived values, the quest for immortality, the allure of things, our use of them to make ourselves, and imagining pasts and futures via objects. The following concepts are threaded through the work: cathexis, ritual as a value builder, collections, hoarding, display, object history, exchange, use, and sign values, and vibrant materiality. At the heart of my investigation is the quest to examine the origins of object power, and by what measures it can be evaluated: value from belief, market value, and something perhaps intrinsic and still to be explored. The first takes place in the mind, the second in the marketplace, the third, upon engagement, and often, they intersect. This thesis explores these concepts from three points of view: sociological, phenomenological, and ideological.