Nathan Henry-Silva BFA Thesis Fall 2011

Subject/Object: An Exploration of Value, Process, and Creativity

The western paradigm of exchange is based in notions of ownership that devalue humanity. As art finds itself situated within this structure it is reduced to commodity. As a result the developmental qualities latent in the creation and reception of art, are shrouded in the cynicism of objective equivalences. In response to this situation, the following paper develops a theory of evaluative dynamics utilizing sociological and semiotic approaches, then moves through a comparative look at exchange in order to better situate creativity within human civilization. Taking an anthropological approach, I then go on to suggest that creativity is an ancient and inborn set of capabilities that give form to society and empower humans to fully participate in that society. The paper proceeds to describe a body of artistic work that emerges from and is built upon the ideas put forth herein. Employing the form of the gift, the work places emphasis on the value of the creative process, and treats such value as a gift to be shared liberally.

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Fall 2011