Way of Will : an autographic biography

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Title:
Way of Will : an autographic biography
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Creator:
Johnson, Susan Irene
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Abstract:
The Way of Will, a series of laser printed collages, was inspired by and based on the communication between my sister, Kathryn, and her autistic son, Will. Will is non-verbal, has an auditory processing delay and is sensory defensive. For Will, communication both receptive and expressive must be sensory simple, concrete and to the point. I conceptually and visually identify with the need and desire to be understood as it relates to my life as a visual artist; the struggles, the challenges and the rewards that visual expression extends to the world when effectively communicated, all are similar. For this body of work I have appropriated Will’s numerous writings, transforming them into multiple layers of a cursive network of lines. I have extended and expanded these writings into a language expressing a purely visual experience, ironically rendering them illegible. My studio practice involves collecting handwritten materials, then selecting and re-arranging the words by hand into new compositional drawings. The drawings are then archived in a computer. Through the process of collecting, drawing, scanning and outputting using a laser cutter, I make multiple copies of Will’s writing. This then becomes a foundation for cutting, layering and reassembling the laser-cut papers in an image that represents my own abstract interpretations of various forms of communication. Some of these forms reference conversation in the form of monologue, dialogue, small talk, and awkward silence. The final artwork can resemble complicated layers of web-like, pierced surfaces, which one can peer into, thus giving them depth. The final artwork may also be reduced to simplified shapes formed by many layers stacked one on top of another, conveying the sheer number of my repeated attempts to convey my thoughts, and words. Though most of my artwork has been made through traditional forms of printmaking (relief, etching, serigraphy, etc.) this project compelled me to investigate unfamiliar and nontraditional means of production and reproduction of the multiple to accomplish the desired result. These investigations, I came to discover, paralleled my own conventional and unconventional means of communicating. This process profoundly altered the relationship I had with my own art-making expression.
General Note:
Printmaking terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
AA00004673:00001


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1 THE WAY OF WILL AN AUTOGRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY By SUSAN IRENE JOHNSON A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Susan Irene Johnson

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3 DEDICATION William Wordsworth wrote: My heart leaps up when I behold A Rainbow in the sky: So was it when my life began; So is it now I am a (wo) man; So be it when I shall g row old, Or let me die! The Child is parent of the (wo) man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety. If our own childhood shapes our adult lives as Wordsworth suggests, so too do the lives of our children shape us. To my dau ghters, Analise Margaret and Abigail Constance,

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my supervisory committee chair, Robert Mueller for his invaluable time and input, which were critical in the development of this body of work. I also want to thank committee member, Julia Morrisroe, for her insight into my work and her uncanny ability to speak the truth.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 6 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 10 2 THE DISCOVERY ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 12 3 PRIOR WORK ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 13 4 PROJECT DEVELOPMENT ................................ ................................ ................... 16 5 APPROACHES, METHODS, AND MATERIALS ................................ .................... 17 6 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 26 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 41

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6 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3 1 Will Cameron ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 28 3 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 28 3 3 House in Small Hope Bay multimedia collage c onstruction. .............................. 29 3 4 Clay monoprint ................................ ................................ 29 3 5 By a Thread kneaded eraser drawings. ................................ ............................. 30 3 6 The Tea Girls, Pen and ink drawing. ................................ ................................ .. 30 3 7 Serigraphy print. ................................ ................................ ................................ 31 3 8 The Way of Will Tr iptych Lithography print. ................................ ....................... 31 3 9 Internal Dialogue Laser cut collage and shadow boxes. ................................ .... 32 3 10 Internal Dialogue Two Laser cut co llage and shadow boxes. ............................ 32 3 11 Internal Dialogue Three Laser cut collage detail view. ................................ ...... 33 3 12 Internal Dialogue Fou r Laser cut collage d etail view. ................................ ........ 33 3 13 Call and Response Laser cut collage. ................................ ............................... 34 3 14 Call and Response Two Laser cut collage detail view. ................................ ...... 34 3 15 Awkward Silence Layered laser cut collage. ................................ ..................... 35 3 16 Awkward Silence Two Layered laser cut collage detail view. ............................ 35 3 17 Awkward Silence Three Layered laser cut collage detail view. ......................... 36 3 18 Awkward Silence Four Layered laser cut collage detail view. ........................... 36 3 19 Dialogue Layered laser cut collage. ................................ ................................ ... 37 3 20 Dialogue Two Layered laser cut collage. ................................ ........................... 37 3 21 Dialogue Three Layered laser cut collage. ................................ ........................ 38 3 22 Dialogue Four Layered laser cut collage detail view. ................................ ......... 38 3 23 Bohm Dialogue L ayered laser cut collage. ................................ ........................ 39

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7 3 24 Bohm Dialogue Two Layered laser cut collage detail view. ............................... 39 3 25 Keep the Rhythm Going, Layered l aser cut collage. ................................ ........... 40 3 26 Keep the Rhythm Going Two Layered laser cut collage detail view. ................. 40

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8 Abstract of Project in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts THE WAY OF WILL By Susan Irene Johnson December 2010 Chair: Robert Mueller Major: Art The Way of Will, a series of laser printed collages, was inspired by and based on the communication between my sister, Kathryn, and her autistic son, Will. Will is non verbal, has an auditory processing delay and is sensory defensive. For Will, communication both receptive and expressive must be sensory simple, concrete and to the point. I conceptually and vis ually identify with the need and desire to be understood as it relates to my life as a visual artist; the struggles, the challenges and the rewards that visual expression extends to the world when effectively communicated, all are similar. For this body of into multiple layers of a cursive network of lines. I have extended and expanded these writings into a language expressing a purely visual experience, ironically rendering them illegible My studio practice involves collecting handwritten materials, then selecting and re arranging the words by hand into new compositional drawings. The drawings are then archived in a computer. Through the process of collecting, drawing, scanning and

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9 output becomes a foundation for cutting, layering and reassembling the laser cut papers in an image that represents my own abstract interpretations of various forms of communication. S ome of these forms reference conversation in the form of monologue, dialogue, small talk, and awkward silence. The final artwork can resemble complicated layers of web like, pierced surfaces, which one can peer into, thus giving them depth. The final artwo rk may also be reduced to simplified shapes formed by many layers stacked one on top of another, conveying the sheer number of my repeated attempts to convey my thoughts and words. Though most of my artwork has been made through traditional forms of print making (relief, etching, serigraphy, etc.) this project compelled me to investigate unfamiliar and nontraditional means of production and reproduction of the multiple to accomplish the desired result. These investigations, I came to discover, paralleled my own conventional and unconventional means of communicating. This process profoundly altered the relationship I had with my own art making expression.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The artwork for my project exhibited in the Focus Gallery was inspired and based on the communication between my sister, Kathryn, with her son, Will. Will was d iagnosed with autism at age two and a half, is non verbal and has an auditory processing delay (Roberts 2008) 1 and is sensory defens ive (Reynolds and Dombeck, 2006) 2 Auditory processing delay is a difficulty and inability to recognize and interpret sounds, especially the sounds composing speech. Sensory defensive is an issue in which there is difficulty filtering sensory input, meani ng the nervous system does not know what to block out and what to amplify and therefore there is no sensory integration. Thus the strongest form of communication for Will is simple, to the point and concrete and best accomplished with handwritten notes to describe his daily wants and needs. When Kathryn speaks to Will, she reinforces what she says in writing and uses pictures to enhance her words. Will started reading at age three (he is now twenty), and he gradually learned to write. Every day Wil l chooses a white or yellow legal pad and a new pen with which to write. In addition to his practical use of writing to communicate, the physical act of writing brings him great pleasure. He often chooses writing as his ting is often repetitive, he can fill pages with single words such as library want or mom and interestingly places the single words approximately at the same place on each piece of paper in an entire writing pad. 1 Roberts, 2008, Autism and Auditory P rocessing Delay, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHwUBkm3VYA 2 Reynolds, Tammi, and Dombeck, Mark, 2006 Sensory Integration and Autism www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type

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11 receptive that is, he receives messages and information from others. However, with writing, Will is able to use language expressively. 3 This expression is shown by the words he chooses and the way he presents them on the page. Emphasis is often expressed by writing words smaller; yes, less is more. Words may be written large, piling up in the right margin as if there is not enough space to contain all he is feeling. He may begin a page with mom or dad followed by swim or library emphatically written smal ler or with greater pressure of his pen. If he feels strongly, his pen may pierce the paper. What I have witnessed in these written exchanges between my sister, Kathryn, and her son, Will, is communication in many forms. They share information, affection, humor, disappointment, recipes, jokes, daily plans and much more in words written back and forth. 3 Mirenda, Pat, 2001. Autism, Augmentative Communication, and Assistive Technology What Do We Really Know? University of British Columbia, 2001Vancouver, BC Canada

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12 CHAPTER 2 THE DISCOVERY marks on paper. I was intrigued with his a bility to write from a small collection of words, the same name, the same place, or the same request over and over again. I gradually identified not only visually but conceptually with the strong desire to understand others and to be understood. This was a form of communication that I recognized, people writing notes to one another. I have always been challenged and have difficulty communicating my ideas verbally and in writing. To a certain extent I was amazed at and how clear the message was. The marks reminded me of handwritten notes I have made throughout my life. Notes that I neatly folded to disguise and passed discretely across the room during school. Lists that I have written to remind myself of items to pi ck up at the grocery store or of tasks I wished to accomplish in a certain period of time. Doodles that I created of random images to keep myself awake and attentive during lectures in college. Writing letters, notes, and lists represent many things to me, including a manner in which to ensure memory, correspond and as a tangible archive of communication.

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13 CHAPTER 3 PRIOR WORK The source of my prior work was based on abstraction and memory of people places and things. I explored silkscreen printing intaglio, clay monoprinting and drawing using color, shapes, lines, and textures, along with collages. a series of clay mono prints, best represents this period of my life. By a Thread is a collection of kneaded eras er drawings exploring fabric, weavings from my four I also moved into my sub conscious and the voices within, and devised a series of simple line drawings in pen personifying t his committee or community of conflicting judgmental inner voices that spoke from my past. One day Will accidentally spilled a glass of tea on one of them. I decided to work with this simple accident and began to incorporate tea into a series of pen and in k drawings he I relate this incident because gradually over time my attitude and perception of self and art making changed its direction of creative energy from moving solely inwards to moving outwards for its sources of inspirat ion. I had by then depleted my own wellspring; I had outlived the story of my past and began looking outward to the present. If I had not opened my eyes and directed my gaze outwards I may never have noticed the potential for my art making in Wills handwri ting. I may never have listened to my community of artists who supported and encouraged an investigation of word as image. I began to explore how text had been used by other artists throughout history to inform their art making. I related to the e arly works of Wenda Gu a contemporary artist from China, in his pursuit to simplify his native language, and to encourage his people to

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14 embrace new attitudes towards their old language. He used his traditional training in calligraphy to make works that qu estioned the Chinese philosophy of language. means of communicating through my artwork using abstracted text as image. I studied the works of American conceptual artist, Mel Bochner. I became interested in how Bochner incorporated the written word onto his visual field. He treated words almost as objects stretching the wordplay to its ultimate conclusion communication breakdown. Bochner, like Will, often gets hi s message across in his work by the use of one word repeated over and over again. Bochner has an ongoing series of paintings, which are entitled Blah, Blah, Blah My exploration of this series became a catalyst for my repeated use of one word in several of my own works of art. Annie Vought is a contemporary paper artist. I investigated in her technique of working with personal hand written lists and letters. She enlarges the image and cuts each word out of colored paper. She then pins the words to a wall, leaving an inch of space as a buffer. Effective lighting is used so that the words cast shadows. I explored the manner in which I could incorporate the use of lighting and shadows to enhance my work in the gallery setting. Here is what Vought say s about her work: penmanship, word choice, and spelling the author is often revealed in spite of him/herself. A letter is physical confirmation of who we were at the moment it was written, or all we have left of a person or a time. I have been working with cut out correspondence for the past four years. I meticulously recreate notes and letters that I have found, written, or received by enlarging the documents onto a new piece of paper and i ntricately dissecting the negative spaces with an Exact o knife. The handwriting and the lines support the structure of the cut paper, keeping it strong and sculptural, despite its apparent fragility. In these paper cutouts, I focus on the text, structure and emotion of the letter in an elaborate investigation into the properties of writing and expression. Penmanship, word choice, and

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15 spelling all contribute to possible narratives about who that person is and what they are like. My recreating the letters is an extended concentration on 4 These artists opened a path for me a new way of experiencing, exploring and expression that I had thought beyond myself a nd out of rea ch. 4 http://www.jazjaz.net/2010/10/annie voughts hand cut paper letters.html

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16 CHAPTER 4 PROJECT DEVELOPMENT I was attracted to the loose and uncontrived marks that Will made and was enchanted with the variety and qualities inherent in the collected pages of his writing pads I experienced beauty in the patterns of rep etition and a sense of pleasure in the This exploration began to define certai n principles of design and aesthetics that were primarily possible with the expressive use of line. I began to conceptualize what my personal artistic interpretation of these marks might be. I asked myself how I could arrange these marks to create art. I t ook the marks I saw on these pages and began to utilize them to create my visual interpretation of various forms of communication. Through the use of variety, depth, repetition, and size variation of lines I was sought to create a sense of unity, balance a about him as my visual art tells something about me. It is my intent to communicate the ongoing connection between writer and reader, between artist and audience, between the giver and receiver in vari ous modes of communication. My project in lieu of thesis challenged me to be loyal to this idea and to pursue whatever ends necessary to accomplish it. It is my most concerted effort to date of a rigorous experimentation with materials and collabor ation with others with a commitment to listen to and contemplate their suggestions. In order to achieve my sought after results I opened myself up to mishap, chance and failure. Profound play in the studio had to be faced with a no fear approach of explor ing new technologies and non traditional manipulations of the material world.

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17 CHAPTER 5 APPROACHES, METHODS, AND MATERIALS making an archive both as hardcopy and in t he computer. Together by re writing/ tracing and manipulating his work in the computer I could abstract and disguise recompose and create patterns that appeared to have symbolic meaning. I wanted to see what would happen during a transposition to drawings and printmaking. I experimented with a variety of drawing and printmaking processes. I created an words: books, library, mom, dad, Katie, swimming, swim, basketball, bed ; these were the dominate words. I created serigraphy prints filled with repeated symbols to represent the hundreds of times Will would write one individual word. Experiments were made with lithographs, frottage, and relief prints, yet I was unable to sati sfactorily sister. I carried my struggle to communicate effectively into my studio practice where I felt great frustration with my inability to say something, anythin g, clearly and with some level of intrigue and allure. I was influenced directly by the arrival of University of Florida visiting artist John Himmelfarb. Himmelfarb is an established artist whose lush, calligraphic drawings and paintings have alwa ys been driven by an unceasing devotion to line. Consistently blurring the boundaries between drawing and painting, Himmelfarb revels evocative potential to create a synthesis of graphic sign, text and elusive image s that o interpret visual language. During his residency at the School of Art and Art History Himmelfarb worked on a series of collagraph and intaglio printing

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18 plates. His studio practice was highly disciplined and productive. Himmelfarb worked in collaboration w ith a small group of printmakers to produce his prints. It was that kind of influence, determination and studio practice that inspired me. It was John s ability to orchestrate images that had a calligraphic sensibility and reference to text that intrigued me. 5 I felt my work was lacking a sense of presence, an identity, and a dimension; in order to achieve this I had to reinvent and change my past thinking and the way I worked. I ma d c onstructing my visual language. With this in mind I resolved to impose my creative will I had to expand my thinking, rethink my materials and explore new methods to accomplish my tasks and objectives. How could I further transform, manipulate, dissect, re arrange, layer, enlarge, and displace words to invent a purely visual language ? It was at this time I discovered the Art and Architecture Fabrication Lab ( A Fab Lab) My work took form on paper using a combination of the A Fab Lab Laser Cutter and collage construction. I reproduce numerous layers of my marks which are stacked one upon the other, symbolizing the depth and sheer number of my repeated attem pts order to simplify, to be direct and ultimately to express the concrete and simple ple asures of my imperfect exchanges of information in a visual form.

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19 I experimented in the A Fab Lab with the size and format of materials, use of color paper verses white or black paper, and with mat board to create depth in the pieces or layers o f pages. I reproduced numerous layers of my marks which are stacked one upon the other, symbolizing the depth and sheer number of my repeated attempts It took many failed attempts and experiments to de velop the most appropriate materials and methodology. For example, I manually set the laser cutter to a certain speed in order to lightly scorch the paper as it is being cut. The actual process must be closely monitored because if the computer becomes idle the entire process may be stopped and things that can go wrong including the possibility of igniting the paper The height and strength of the laser must be correct for the depth and layers of paper being used ; these settings are unique for each work. Th ere is also the element of chance ; i f I watch the paper being cut, will I discover a more satisfying image before the cutter completes my original image? If so, I can stop the process midstream and change the direction of my work. Once I have com pleted the laser cutting process this then become s my foundation for layering and reassembling images that represents my own abstract interpretations of various forms of communication. I explored many possibilities for assemblages. Working with my committe e members and their suggestions and comments I decided to dispense with color paper completely and to allow the laser cut paper to exhibit the burned and haloed marks. I was also encouraged to explore the many forms these intricate sheets of paper could de monstrate ; from simple stacking to an intense and packed relief surface; and even three dimensional results. I extended and expanded the

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20 art of writing into a visual language expressing my personal frustrations with communication and the wooly nature of con versations. Internal Monologue a series of four shadow boxes and two scrolls of script represents the semi constant internal monologue one has with oneself at a conscious or semi conscious level. The work reflects the hundreds, perhaps thousan ds, of voices that have semi permanent residence in my head r epresenting a collection of my inner most thoughts. Each of the shadow boxes is filled with tailings: these are the fallouts from the paper after I have completed a laser cutting. These particle s are confined in a compressed space, much like my head in which these multiple voices are contained with seemingly no way of escape. Two scrolls of text are strategically placed in the middle of two shadow boxes. Each scroll represents my public persona i n the midst of this internal monologue. When I am in conversation with others I engage in what is being said whil e at the same time hearing self generated speech simultaneously. internal monologue during the compilation of this work. Some of the words to the song are as follows: 6 Well I know a woman with a collection of sticks She could fight back the hundreds of voices she heard And she could poke at the greed; she could fend off her need And with anger she found she could pound every word But one voice got through, caught her up by surprise It said, "Don't hold us back we're the story you tell" And no sooner than spoken, a spell had been broken And the voices before her were tru mpets and tympani Violins, basses and woodwinds and cellos Call and Response is a form of "spontaneous verbal and non between speaker and listener in which all of the statements ('calls') are punctuated by 6 http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/40064/1/DESC/

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21 expressions ('resp onses') from the listener. 7 The triptyc hs representation of non verbal interaction is based on therapeutic listening programs some of which include the music of Mozart and his His music is call and a response in the composition; one instrument plays the melody and another echoes it back with a slight variation. This communication is a repetition of a similar sound, of repeated music, of a conversation. 8 and this work is my response. When creating the upper components of Call and Response I focused on one small portion of my image and broke it do wn into the lowest pixilation possible until I obtained what I saw as a dynamic composition. This process takes place while using editing software on the computer. I would alter the composition slightly for each additional work and then produce an edition of nine prints for each image. While the individual layer papers may not be readily apparent to the viewer they subtly signify the layers of meaning found in conversations. Some components of the work contain dramatically increased line thickness, this dim ensional shift was used to represent the volume of the conversation, and similar to the way Will increased the pressure of his writing when he feels strongly about something. Awkward S ilence is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a writte n or spoken 7 ^ Foster, Michle (2001), "Pay Leon, Pay Leon, Pay Leon, Paleontologist: Using call and response to facilitate language mastery and literacy acquisition among African American Students" in Lanehart, Sonja, Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English Varieties of English Around the World, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company 8 Girdlesto ne, Cuthbert Morton (1964). Mozart and His Piano Concertos, 2nd ed. New York City: Dover. pp. 375 376. ISBN 0 486 21271 8

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22 conversational exchange between two or more people. It is an uncomfortable pause in a conversation. 9 The unpleasant nature of such silences is associated with feelings of anxiety as the participants feel pressure to speak but are unsure what to say next. It is commonly preceded by an ill considered remark or an imbalance in which one of the participants makes minimal responses. 10 The grouping of nine layered pieces in Awkward Silence represents the silence in a conversation when all other parties feel that someone should be talking; yet no one does. Each of the nine pieces are for the entire composition suggesting numerous ways individuals contribute to one topic of conversation. Going to bed represents a routine exercise that everyone is familiar with and would have some common ground in discussing as a topic of conversation. The interlacing of text is layered and stacked awkwardly, much like the way people attempt to fill in the void in a discussion. The collective piece is displayed in a grid of nine tiles, three tiles across and three tiles down. I often display work with multiple components into a grid formation demonstrating my need for a sense of order and balance. The center work is constructed without text, emphasizing the empty space, epitomizing my reaction to awkward silences. I feel it is pointless to try and fill this vacant space and often, though feeling uncomfortable, will simply remain quiet. Working on this piece reminded me of a scene i n the film Pulp Fiction where the characters Mia and Vincent discuss awkward silences afte r a pause in their conversation. 11 9 She's worried about awkward silence, Boston Globe, February 16, 1993 10 Eveline D. Schulman (1982), Intervention in human services p. 271, ISBN 9780801643712 11 Stefan H. Krieger (Spring, 2001), "A Time to Keep Silent and a Time to Speak" Oregon Law

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23 Don't you hate that ? Hate what? Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit? In order to be comfortable? I don't know. That's a good question. That's when you know you found somebody really special, when you can just shut the fuck up for a mi n ute. Comfortably share silence. 12 Dialogue a series of six laser cut collages represents a verbal exchange of opinions between two people 13 The work was created by additive and subtractive interludes during the cutting of the paper in the lase r cutter. The Fab Lab is quiet and isolated but when the computer, the air compressor, and vent fans are all turned on there is a constant noise. While cutting through four layers of paper the process required my full attention. I would watch as the inci sions into the paper began, and the smell of the paper burned by the laser would grow as my eyes focused on the unfolding of the image as the paper was being cut. For the duration of sixty minutes or so I would watch the paper being cut. When I felt the co mposition was engaging I would interrupt the process by pausing the machine and remove the top two of the layers of paper and place two new sheets of paper in their place. The noise, temporarily abated during the pause, would resume as the cutter proceeded The process of adding and subtracting between my visual decision making and the machines work. Looking closely at the pairs 12 Review 80 (1) http://www.law.uoregon.edu/org/olr/archives/80/80_Or_L_Rev_199. pdf http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Pulp_Fiction#Dialogue 13 See entry on "dialogue (n)" in the Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed.

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24 in this series one may see the mirrored balanc e of the cut paper with the uncut paper. Looking closer the slight discoloration of the under layers subtlety showing through suggest what one may be thinking to themselves when they in fact they are occupied in listening during a conversation. Bo hm D ialogue is a collection of eighteen small layered prints grouped together as a free flowing group conversation. This mode of conversation is best described in the words of Quantum Physicist and author David Bohm Bohm argues i n a dialogue 14 hen one person says something, the other person does not, in general, respond with exactly the same meaning as that seen by the first person. Rather, the meanings are only similar and not identical. Thus, wh en the 2nd person replies, the 1st person sees a d ifference between what he meant to say and what the other person understood. On considering this difference, he may then be able to see something new, which is relevant both to his own views and to those of the other person. And so it can go back and forth, with the continual emergence of a new content that is common to both participants. Thus, in a dialogue, each person does not attempt to make common certain ideas or items of information that are already k nown to him. Rather, it may be said that two people are making something in common i.e., creatin 15 The construction of this piece was created from discarded papers that I have collected. I took all of these papers and cu t them into square shaped frames, remixing and reconfiguring all the images and shapes. This visually manifests my desire to seek common ground through partnership and cooperation while engaging in communication with others. A IZUCHI ( or ) is a Japanese term that refers to frequent interjections during a conversation. The Japanese continuously use verbal as well as non verbal signals to indicate they are following what is being said in a conversation. Aizuchi can 14 Bohm, "On Dialogue", p.18 19. 15 David Bohm.net features various papers written by Bohm and his colleagues.

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25 be compared to the counterp oint in music, which keeps the rhythm going. These interjections in conversation are considered reassuring to the speaker indicating that the listener is active and involved in the conversation. 16 Keep the Rhythm Going a collection of eight laser cut colla ges, is based on this form of conversation. I created these collages by breaking down my drawing into CMYK layers using a photo editing program. I then interjected written text between two identical layers, one representing the speaker and one representing the listener embedding non verbal reassurances into a visual composition. 16 Nodding, Aizuchi, and Final Particles in Japanese Conversation Volume 39, Issue 7, July 2007, Pages 1 242 1254, Journal of Pragmatics

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26 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION The Way of Will points to my personal struggle to find a way with words. This project began with the creation of the hand written word on paper and evolved into producing the art on a laser cutter machine I ask my self what did I loose and what did I gain by working with this technology? The use of technology, A Fab Lab Laser Cutter, was not only advantageous to my work and mandatory for its production; it also removed physical touch from the work Thi s process was both time consuming and labor intensive. Use of the A Fab Lab is limited which presented challenges for the production of my work. Use of this technology allowed me to expand a nd push the process of multiples/ printing forward. It allowed me to m ove my s tudio practice and experimentation into new direction s I introduced my hand, the tactile sense of touch and physicality back into my work as I reconstructed the laser cut paper pr ints into collaged images. This allowed for me to give the work a sense of presence and identity that would have been lacking otherwise. This method of working brought me to a new understanding about abstraction in my work It enabled me to transform my wo rk from merely producing studio practice, to creating images of fine art. My current work now takes on a visual complexity, and a depth, that engages the viewer for a longer period of time inviting them to contemplate their personal relationship with communication. It is my desire to expand on my visual interpretation of communication and possibly create collaborative environments with interactive gallery installations. This would afford me the opportunity to give back to my community through both my artwork and through education.

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27 My work is a focused investigation of the transformation of the written word through man made machines into a visual image representing a most human desire to communicate.

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28 Figure 3 1. Will Came ron Figure 3

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29 Figure 3 3. House in Small Hope Bay multimedia collage construction. Figure 3 4. Clay monoprint

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3 0 Figure 3 5. By a Thread kneaded eraser drawings. Figure 3 6. The Tea Girls, Pen an d ink drawing.

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31 Figure 3 7. Serigraphy print. Figure 3 8. The Way of Will Triptych Lithography print.

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32 Figure 3 9. Internal Dialogue Laser cut collage and shadow boxes. Figure 3 10. Internal Dialogue Two Laser cut collage and shadow boxes.

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33 Fi gure 3 11. Internal Dialogue Three Laser cut collage detail view. Figure 3 12. Internal Dialogue Four Laser cut collage detail view.

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34 Figure 3 13. Call and Response Laser cut collage. Figure 3 14. Call and Response Two Laser cut collage detail view.

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35 Figure 3 15. Awkward Silence Layered laser cut collage. Figure 3 16. Awkward Silence Two Layered laser cut collage detail view.

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36 Figure 3 17. Awkward Silence Three Layered laser cut collage detail view. Figure 3 18. Awkward Silence Four Layered laser cut collage detai l view.

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37 Figure 3 19. Dialogue Layered laser cut collage. Figure 3 20. Dialogue Two Layered laser cut collage.

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38 Figure 3 21. Dialogue Three Layered laser cut collage. Figure 3 22. Dialogue Four Layered laser cut collage detail view.

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39 Figure 3 23. Bohm Dialog ue Layered laser cut collage. Figure 3 24. Bohm Dialogue Two Layered laser cut collage detail view.

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40 Figure 3 25. Keep the Rhythm Going, Layered laser cut collage. Figure 3 26. Keep the Rhythm Going Two Layered laser cut collage detail view.

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41 LI ST OF REFERENCES Adelson, Esther, Syracuse City School District, and University of the State of New York. 1988. Communication through the art s : Microform Kraus curriculum development library ; VPA K 136. Albany, N.Y.: University of the State of New York, State Education Dept. Alland, Alexander. 1983. Playing with form: Children draw in six cultures New York: Columbia University Press. Bachelard, Gaston. 1969. The poetics of space Boston: Beacon Press. Baron Cohen, Simon. 1995. Mindblindness: An ess ay on autism and theory of mind Learning, development, and conceptual change. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Biklen, Douglas. 1993. Communication unbound: How facilitated communication is challenging traditional views of autism and ability disability Spe cial education series (new york, N.Y.); #13. New York: Teachers College Press. B onesteel Michael, and Kramer, Linda Konheim 2005 The Prints of John Himmelfarb New York and Manchester : Hudson Hills Press. Cohn, Dorrit, Transparent Minds: Narrative Mo des for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction, 1978. Edwardes, Jane, The Faber Book of Monologues, Faber and Faber, 2005. M cave, Prabh kara. 1977. Creative arts and communication. 1st ed. New Delhi: Communication Publications. McClearn, G. E., and Rober t Plomin. 1993. Nature, nurture, & psychology. 1st ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Mesibov, Gary B., Eric Schopler, and Victoria Shea. 2005. The TEACCH approach to autism spectrum disorders. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publis hers. Visual Communications Conference, Art Directors Club, Art Directors Club of New York, and Robert O. ed Bach. 1963. Communication: The art of understanding and being understood;. New York: Hastings House.

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42 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH S usan Irene Johnson was born in Sagamahari Japan. She spent her childhood traveling around the world with her family. Susan completed her BA in Visual Arts Education at University of Central Florida. She completed her MFA at University of Florida.