Studio Art

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A MiddLab Project

Held in Place

Colleen Carroll, Studio Art Senior Work, Spring 2012

My independent work deals with the landscape but it is not the literal landscape that we see in front of our eyes. Rather, I explore the landscape as it is filtered through memory. Small details are repeated to become an epic panorama and multiple scales are experienced at once, disconnecting the viewer from the daily experience of landscape and allowing for the entrance into an imaginative geography of memory. Patterns and repetition are important because of the way the multiple experiences of a single landscape over time become layered. It is the act of remembering that determines what is visible and what is obscured. Each of the elements included in my work comes from an important place in my life, from the Pacific Northwest, Wyoming, and Vermont. I firmly believe that place informs our identity and each of these places have shaped who I am and how I interact with the world around me.

Thanks to the Studio Art department and faculty, especially Hedya Klein, Heimo Wallner, and Rebecca Gooch for their help and guidance.

First Beach, The Sound

silkscreen prints on newsprint



In the Bighorns

silkscreen, charcoal, sumi ink on newsprint and glassine

Other works

we are here and we are fine (I and II)

silkscreen prints on mulberry paper

the rain and the sound

charcoal, paint pen on kitikata paper and silkscreen print on glassine




A MiddLab Project


A sampling of my independent work created during the 2011-2012 academic year with the Studio Art department.

Special thanks to Jim Butler, Hedya Klein, John Huddleston, Sanford Mirling and Rebecca Gooch. Thank you to my friends and family for lending an ear and eye when I needed them most. Art is meant to be a dialogue, and one should not converse alone.



Illumination (n.) : lighting or light; spiritual or intellectual enlightenment.
Luminous (adj.) : glowing with health, vigor or a particular emotion.
Light is the ultimate source of life for our planet. Without it, many things cease to exist. Its necessity influences what we eat, how we live, and where we dwell. My work this year would not exist without careful consideration and appreciation of light. My goal was to bring a new sense of life to an existing space through displacement and habitation. In my work, the “life” only exists with the facilitation of light, but with the flip of a switch, it is gone. How does a sense of place, space or environment evoke feelings of illumination (outward, giving and free) versus luminance (self-contained and captured)? Life is governed both by the self and its environment. If we lose our light, do we lose ourselves?



A MiddLab Project


Coffee, Heptathlon, Thesis

Julia Sisson, Studio Art Senior Work 2012


Prestige: Coffee, heptathlon, thesis

I see prestige as a velvet-lined room filled with cigar smoke and old white men.  A concept embedded within nostalgia, something that my predecessors have pursued and achieved through good, hard, and honest work.  It is a type of honor gained through completing actions in the most pure or difficult ways possible.  This conceptualization has managed to saturate and motivate too many of my decision-making processes. I have sought it out in order to assert myself as a member of society—something that I feel I lack as a woman, artist, introvert, Midwesterner, or student within a rigorous academic institution.  However, in looking to ascend my own ladder of achievement, I end up simultaneously pushing myself down.  Seemingly absurd and useless knitted objects in my work serve to expose the absurdity of my own decision-making, but also question why we code and value certain objects different than others.


Special thanks to Professor Sanford Mirling, Rebecca Gooch, the Studio Art department, friends and and family for all their help and support in completing this project.




Heptathlon (2012)

Sod, mixed media, yarn



Desk, mixed media, yarn

Coffee (2012)

Kitchen, mixed media, yarn

Other Works

Nap.pal (2011)

Wood, recycled foam, mixed media



Ndánk, ndánk mooy japp golo ci ñdaay (Slowly, slowly one catches the monkey in the forest–Wolof Proverb) (2012)

Teapot, quilt, steel, mixed media


Musical Accompaniment for _Ndánk ndánk…_



My work in sculpture and installation aims to create a space in which the audience, who usually identify as the surveyed, takes on the role of the surveyor and the performer. My pop-up hijacking of institutional spaces and bureaucratic processes gradually degenerates as it reaches its structural and participatory limit.

Michel Foucault recognizes the exemplary prison model of the Panopticon and developed his theory on the ways in which the society generates docile bodies through discipline. The Panopticon is a powerful prison model, because, regardless of the obvious physical presence and the inmates’ consciousness of the purpose of the inspection tower, the presence/absence of the observer in the tower was made unknown through a venetian blind behind the windows of the tower. In isolation and under ceaseless inspection, the prisoners of the Panopticon learned to internalize the discipline and govern themselves. The Panopticon not only prevented the prisoners from wrong-doing but also took away their wish to commit wrong, making them unable and unwilling.

Foucault expanded the prison and the prisoners of the Panopticon to the society and all its members. The docile self-governing bodies, in combination with the extensive history and knowledge the society has accumulated on its members, allow the society as a machine to achieve maximum efficiency by placing individuals as compartments within its mechanics according to their individual characters.

Various record keeping devices that obsessively bureaucratize information-gathering methods have been developed and ingrained deep within the contemporary psyche. Anonymous scribes keep filling in the charts of self-conscious, docile individuals in constant cognitive dissonance in regards to privacy and autonomy, while from the knowledge of the individuals societal power is generated.

The Letterist International declared commitment to authentic life alternative to that designed for the capitalist society and believed that the capitalist trance could be disrupted through détournement. Strategic device that appropriates the expressions of modern capitalist society and turns them against the design, détournement was proposed as a tactic in individuals’ resistance against the machine to reclaim the authentic life.




James Butler, John Huddleston, Hedya Klein (Senior Studio Advisors) / Sanford Mirling (Academic Advisor) / Karen Rauppius 12′,  Tyler Madden 12.5′ (Collaborators)



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