Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2010

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Jung, Anita

First Committee Member

Perrone, Michael

Second Committee Member

Snitzer, James

Third Committee Member

Farrin, Laurel

Fourth Committee Member

Barbuzza, Isabel


This paper revolves around the idea of the infra-thin, a concept coined by Duchamp, which describes paradoxes and/or phenomena that are not easily defined with words but instead sensed. The infra-thin is illustrated throughout the paper by discussions revolving around scars, bruises, birthmarks, dust, fog, lint, and other similar "things" that are, in some definition of the term, objects. The afore listed entities are used as examples:

1. To initiate a dialogue that starts with Minimalism, bounces back to Duchamp and explains how he influenced the Minimalists, places Warhol in context, describes how Minimalism moved forward from the show at the Jewish Museum, and puts the rest of us working post-1966 in perspective.

2. To begin a conversation about readymades. A readymade being an anonymous, neutral object that we take for face value as "work of art" simply because of an artist's deeming it art. Because it exists as a neutral object, it is seen out of the corner of the viewer's eye, recognized as this anonymous thing that equals art object, and is then forgotten about and only recollected by memory as a readymade as opposed to the object that it resembles.

3. To introduce the idea of attempting to explain through language paradoxes that are sensed and/or attached directly to memory. I start with readymade but then there are other things. Bruises, scars, birthmarks are a few examples. Others include fog, dust, fuzz. Still others are shadows and stains. A few more are vapor and evanescence. Also, things inherently human, like emotion.


Brillo boxes, Duchamp, infra-thin, Minimalism, readymade


iii, 29 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 28-29).


Copyright 2010 Crystal Lyn Roethlisberger

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