Over spring break, I opted for a couple of extended vault sessions in CC’s in the earlier portion of the week. While I did find and analyze some new sources, a good portion of my time was also dedicated to putting all of my information down into a gingko tree to connect it all in a way that I could see. Though it was originally just a plan to organize my thoughts, I ended up finding some connections that I’ve never seen before. I think the one most relevant to my thesis is the subjectivity of art as it relates to the individualistic philosophy of existentialism. I think the argument that art is a fitting medium for existential concepts because it is such an individualized form of expression could end up being a claim or subclaim in my actual thesis.
In terms of actual research, I followed the same path I’ve been on looking at how art affects the stress response in the body and how existential ideas occur in artistic forms. With the last couple of days of my vault time this upcoming week, I’m going to try and take a look at some specific examples of existential artwork and analyze how they affect both their creators and viewers.
This week, I dedicated my time to exploring the history of art as a form of interpretation. The most interesting source I came across detailed the emergence of the performance art movement, which began in the early to mid twentieth century. Performance art was the idea that art should be used to promote social awareness and call attention to something. Generally speaking, performance art was meant to be experienced once and only once, not resulting in any sort of tangible product, but rather to have a mental and emotional effect. This movement emerged at the the same time that the existentialist movement did, so I hope next week that I can make some connections between the two.
Sorry this is a week late, but last week was dedicated mostly to solidifying my topic into something I felt comfortable with and something that accurately reflects my interests. The topic I ended up landing on was a study of how existentialist ideals appear in visual and performing arts and how manifesting those ideas in art affects the human mind’s conception of them. I rewrote my entire thesis proposal (again), and found some new sources to better direct me in this new direction.