Taylor Kibby MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2018

Shifting In and Around the Rest of Everything

Experiences today are often mediated through a screen, an app, or some sort of technological scrim. Society has begun a steady retreat from real tactile experiences in the pursuit of convenience. You can order your groceries online to be delivered so you don’t have to leave your house or play tennis by swinging a plastic stick at a screen. But how much pleasure can you truly experience living remotely?
The feeling of a towel warm from the dryer, the smell of fresh cut grass, or the sound of wind whistling through dry leaves. Our surroundings are a chance to harness the potential energy of all things to explode everyday—with wonder, with pleasure, with curiosity. But this can only happen if we remember that it is not mind OR body but mind AND body.

The motivation behind this project stems from the desire to create kinetic ceramic chain-link sculptures that stimulate a re-sensitizing of mind and body towards a goal of engendering more frequent moments of pleasure in the everyday.

As I explore my past I seek to understand why small moments of awareness are so important to my practice. Through consideration of scarcity and hypersensitivity, I search for ways to translate and share ideas about conscious engagement and pleasure. I consider how ‘Flow Theory’, developed by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, supports the motivations of the project. How I use the three tenets of flow: concentration, challenge, and pleasure, to make decisions about how my ceramic chain-link objects are constructed and engaged with. I consider how this work fits into a history of work contingent on participation, the idea of open works, and historical examples of objects, which have tethered mind and body through engagement. This connects to my own desires to harness conscious interaction with objects to foster pleasurable experiences.

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MFA in Applied Craft + Design Thesis Works