College of Fine Arts
Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
A Place To Call Our Own explores residual cultural memory through the detritus of the ever decreasing life cycle of our identity-driven attention economy. Through processes of archaeological curation, accretion, and excavation, I create new objects that query the values of our current socio-political positions and examine implications for sustainability.
Discarded and mistint house paints are manifestations of culture as they are forgotten in basements, garages, closets, and left behind by previous owners. Mistint house paints are orphaned in hardware stores by customers who are not satisfied with their original color choices or when the store fails to create the desired hue or finish. Disconnected from the original owners and their intentions, mistint house paints are imbued with invisible individual memory and comprise a visible cultural history. House paints can add desirability, enhance a home’s sophistication, or create comfort in one’s limited space. Infinite color choices make house paints an identity-driven good in a culture with an overwhelming supply of consumer products meant to attract buyers who wish to have something exclusive. These novelties, however, have an ever-shorter lifespan as consumers continually chase the next best self-improvement. Color carries a deep resonance, and choosing a paint color is rooted in psychological affect such as mood and behavior. Each home holds a recollection, and its inhabitants’ persona is transcribed in the layout and color of the walls, creating their order of nature as a projection of their newer, improved identities.
Process plays a central role in my work as I recontextualize materials through my collection and intervention. Salvaging and molding layers of paint into newfound forms, these stratifications expose remnants and the foundation of their previous lives. I reformulate the discarded and mistint paints into a visual record of cultural history through material transformations by pouring numerous layers to create strata-like forms that mimic natural sedimentation. The new relationship of each color layer is exposed through excavation and creates a cultural snapshot that examines the development of our society through patterns of culture/identity shedding. These reconstructed objects focus on the abandoned materials, critiquing the excessive waste of our contemporary consumerist ideology.
Jones, Todd, "A Place To Call Our Own" (2022). Art + Design Masters Theses. 5.