Thesis Title

Body As Apparatus

Major Department

Art, Studio


College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Spring 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Lanning, Lynne

Thesis Mentor

Farrin, Laurel


During the semester, I have been exploring material through sculpture through the construction and re-construction of a figure that I have introduced into my work, a stand-in for myself, a projection. Through the use of different materials, I explore humor and pathos, and how those can mingle within a single object. The objective of the figure is to explore and depict how the body, as apparatus, machine, de-constructs and re-constructs through perceiving and experiencing. The first attempt at making the figure was not unsuccessful, but the second attempt, with alterations in material, did more work. I initially created the figure with wooden legs and a head made of plastic. This version of the figure portrayed a specific mood and tone, which I intended, but the pathos, or sad feeling, was primarily being projected through the heavy hang of the plastic head. The stiff wooden legs were not doing the work that they could be doing. To pacify this, I reconstructed the figure and made it with polyurethane foam, a high-density foam that sits and moves with a noticeable sense of gravity, which was not present with the original wooden construction. The polyurethane foam makes the entire figure sink, slump, hang, and fold into itself. The plastic head of the figure remained the same. Something that I was previously conscious of, but is now instilled in my mind, is the importance of using material that is not arbitrary. The material has the ability to extend beyond what an artist, as a mediator during the process of making, can do. In this case, create a mood and underlying humor through physical qualities of an object and how that objects interacts with itself, within a space, or with other objects. I have come to realize that being aware of what is happening, or not happening, during the process of making, is crucial to making objects that work. This project, as well as other work I have completed this semester have surfaced a new level of awareness during the act of making.

Total Pages

1 page


Copyright © 2017 Taylor Laufersweiler