This thesis examines suburbia’s relationship to nature and culture.From the beginning of my artistic career I have been interested in photographingthe landscape, striving to make a familiar view unfamiliar as a means to question how weuse space and the impact this use has on us. Prior to graduate school I sought out viewsforeign to me, but as a graduate student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Iturned inward to the familiar, the landscapes I know most intimately—suburbia.Discovering a way to both question and express my relationship with suburbia led me toexperiment with several mediums. From traditional 4x5 black-and-white photography tocolor photography, from salt sculpture to video, I was willing to try my hand at anymedium that might bring me closer to my subject. I used these mediums to explore nightimagery, which I focused on as a means to investigate themes important to me.As I have compiled my body of work on suburbia, it seems I have come full circleas evidenced in my show Cul de Sac. At first I was drawn by the allure of the AmericanDream. As I focused closer on my subjects, I came to look at suburbia not in its detailsbut in its simplicity. What I saw were not the objects, not the homes or the people inthem, so much as the space around them. I realized the spaces represented the emptinessI found in suburbia. For me, suburbia was not about the promise but the price.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Night photography--Technique; Night photography--Themes, motives; Landscape photography--Technique; Landscape photography--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Themes, motives; Photography, Artistic--Technique; Suburbs in art
Mulligan, Therese - Chair
Moon, Jen, "Cul de sac" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus