Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

King Creativity at Southwestern

Strongholds of Insecurity

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Tess Outlaw
Advisor: Mary Visser

Layers of debris obfuscating, steps of stairs branching to lost, enclosed corridors of moving too quick, walls closing in and off to through another door, light and dark shaping spaces in rooms ever big, ever small, and either way, too bleak- these are the observable environs of our built world. 

I believe the variously articulated confines of our man-made surroundings might be analogous to the kind of patterns in which we conceive ideas. It is also why, sometimes, our mindsets tend toward the unconstructive. I am fascinated by the way that human networks of homes and urban spaces interact in and atop the havoc of nature. I am fascinated but also repulsed, innately, at how we have grown and moreover, grown away from what seems real and true; we have abandoned what is basic and human-scale through monotony and convenience. I feel trapped which has made me brazenly self-conscious but even in spite of this, in others, I sense a tremor of acute disconcertion; it is as if my unease was synecdoche for an unconscious pandemic… Is it not a possibility that the mass expanse of human ingenuity has become ugly and weighty of late, forcing narrow mindedness? 

In this project, I wanted to investigate my reaction of agony, dread, and self doubt and figure out if there was a connection to the built world through setting it physically in human devised dead-ending spaces around campus. Because people rely on their retentions to legitimize their current statuses, I have made shrines to the past to be put in a room hoarder-style; a trend that has become semi-normalized in the present day. Because the words in a human head are worthless in achieving domain over anything, I am filling an inconsequential space with words on receipt tape- like worthless whispers of transactions that get lost in purses and pockets. Because people grab at passing whims and hold onto them even as they grow counterproductive over time, I devised a tent-room of barbs covered in the cloudy haze of a dead-eyed daydreamer. 

I learned through this project, that although I could be more hopeful about the future there are several setting-systems that are not merely self-generated which are holding me, to a point, in this stronghold of insecurity. I learned to think about what kind of settings might make me feel more self-assured and therefore, more at home in my head.