Under the See - Harvard Thesis Work

My undergraduate thesis work at Harvard consisted of three main pieces: Box of (G)rain, Digital Long Exposures and Wave Illusions. To see the full artist statement click here.

The surface of the photograph and the way we see and process physical stimuli are distinct. My thesis questions the seamlessness of photography and examines the ways photography influences our understanding of how and what we see.

I call attention to the role of perception in interpreting photographs by dissecting images into their constituent parts—pixels of color data. This requires viewers to piece together an experiential vision of water, asking them to scrutinize their own perceptual assumptions and inviting them to challenge their notions of photographic representation.

Box of (G)rain

Box of (G)rain, 2011
kinetic sculpture, 24" x 18" x 5"

Box of (G)rain is an interactive sculpture that is made of a wooden frame, handle and sushi rice died with Epson printer ink.

Digital Long Exposures

I created these two mural-sized photographic prints for my undergraduate thesis project. They are each a combination of many different digital photos of the same patch of water. Digital data, unlike an analog signal, is stored with finite boundaries - either 1 or 0 - with no transition states. Just as the color data in this piece is split up into 1s and 0s, the structure of the whole piece breaks time down into discrete packages (1/100th sec) that are then reassembled to form an event which would be unattainable without digital photography (one second recorded over ten minutes).

Digital One-Second Exposure (1/100 sec x 100 Taken Over 10 min), Charles River, February 19, 4:30-4:40 pm, 2011
digital print on premium glossy photo paper, 84" x 132" (Three panels 80" x 40" each)

Overexposure (Systematic Pairing of Every Aperture and Shutter Speed), Charles River, January 22, 2:00-4:00 pm, 2011
digital print on premium glossy photo paper, 80" x 120"

Wave Illusions

"Truth in Travel" (Selections of Caribbean Waters in Conde Nast Traveler Magazine) gallery view, 2011
digital print on premium glossy photo paper, 28" x 16" each

These nine prints are from my undergraduate thesis project. In this section, I appropriate the carefully crafted photos of Conde Nast Traveler magazine. These are perfect examples of the way images can be made to affect one's perception. By isolating the garishly jewel-like colors of the Caribbean seas that Conde Nast sells to its readers and by pairing them with an illusionary form, I make a playful representation of the Caribbean waters. I arrange and assemble the contrasting colors in such a way as to create an optical illusion of movement.

US Virgin Islands

St. Maarten




Turks and Caicos

Dominican Republic

Cayman Islands

British Virgin Islands