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  • Otis Fine Arts hosts a Visiting Artist lecture series featuring John Houck, a Los Angeles-based artist. Read more about him here.
    Contact: Soo Kim, skim@otis.edu
  • Jesse Benson (b. 1978) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Benson's complex practice is driven by the perversion of roles and representation that characterize his generational moment. In obsessively "skillful" objects like the Bureau Paintings, Catalog Page Paintings, Future Sculptures, and Repaintings, Benson constantly questions the authenticity of the document, the function of style, and the value of both art and artist. Benson is equally committed to a curatorial/organizational practice that openly overlaps and inspires his object production.

  • The Architecture/Landscape/Interiors Department at OTIS College of Art and Design is pleased to announce a lecture by Nick SeierupPrincipal | Design Director of Perkins+Will, Los Angeles, on Thursday, December 3, 2015.


  • Marisa Silver is the author most recently of the New York Times bestselling novel Mary Coin. Her other books include the novels No Direction Home and The God of War (a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize), as well as two story collections, Babe in Paradise and Alone with You. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in many anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver lives in Los Angeles.

  • Jesse Lerner is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles.  His short films Natives (1991, with Scott Sterling), T.S.H. (2004) and Magnavoz (2006) and the feature-length experimental documentaries Frontierland/Fronterilandia (1995, with Rubén Ortiz-Torres), Ruins (1999) The American Egypt (2001), Atomic Sublime (2010) and The Absent Stone (2013, with Sandra Rozental) have won numerous prizes at film festivals in the United States, Latin America and Japan.

  • Otis faculty member Dana Berman Duff will present a program of short 16mm and digital films in her "Catalogue" series.

  • Performing the Grid is an exhibition that brings together an intergenerational group of artists and cultural producers that utilize the grid as a performative strategy to examine, challenge and position philosophical, political, social, domestic, corporeal, and mythical perspectives. Rosalind Kraus famously wrote that the grid “functions to declare the modernity of modern art” in her 1979 essay, Grids.


Senior Thesis for Fine Arts

Researching Creatively to Generate New Ideas

A successful thesis is dependent on finding good material to use, then organizing, and communicating that material for your project.

Please look carefully at the example below to see how the research process itself can be used to help generate ideas and focus your topic.

Example: (identity OR self-consciousness) AND (art OR artists )
(more on Boolean syntax)

When using many of the Otis subscription databases, you will automatically be offered a list of related, narrowing topics to choose from such as:

  • Identity in art
  • Blacks / Race identity
  • Gender identity in art
  • Identity in art / Exhibitions
  • Gender identity in art / Exhibitions
  • Self in art

If none of those seem to fit with your interests, the next step is to find an article that IS interesting to you and carefully examine it.

Try to discove other terms or related topics which could be good alternative keywords for your project on identity or consciousness. Notice especially which terms are used in the subject fields. The following citations were found in Wilson Omni.

Running List of Ideas

(interesting possible keywords and concepts to investigate further)



Subverting Assumptions of Female Beauty: An Interview with Ann-Sofie Back

female beauty

construction of beauty



gender identity



SOURCE: Fashion Theory v. 11 no. 4 (December 2007) p. 391-401
ABSTRACT: An interview with the Swedish-born, London-trained designer Ann-Sofie Back. Back's intellectual approach to fashion places the construction of beauty, glamor, and femininity center-stage. Her designs focus on the irony and artificiality of fashion, and its ability to confound and complicate fixed identities. Referencing both the fashion system and her own life-experience, Back's work is simultaneously conceptually driven and very personal. Her work shows an understanding of the importance of fashion both as an artistic expression and as a commercial product that is ultimately meant to be worn. Topics discussed include ideas of identity in Back's work, her interest in transvestism, her choice of materials, her ideas regarding the commercial reality of fashion, and the relationship of her work to notions of female beauty. The interview concludes with a discussion of the relationship between Back's work and conventional notions of Swedish design.

Gender identity and fashion

Fashion and art


Back, Ann-Sofie/Interviews

TITLE: Kathleen Browne: Specimens of Reflexivity



SOURCE: Metalsmith v. 26 no. 3 (Fall 2006) p. 20-7
ABSTRACT: The work of metalsmith Kathleen Browne is discussed. Looking at the artist's work generally means to be conscious of one's role as subject in the act of observing and therefore in the formation of looking as an object. Encouragement of this circularity stems from her embrace of the phenomenon of reflexivity inherent in the dynamic between observer and observed--the inescapable condition in which reality and identity reflect one another, which she has confronted largely through historical analyses. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of her work is the overt subjectivity in what otherwise presents itself as analysis, for it exemplifies instead of just commenting on the self-consciousness of contemporary enquiry. The writer examines Brown's series Sensum/Sensorum, Daily Confidential, and her most recent enamelware works addressing aspects of virtual reality.
SUBJECTS: Browne, Kathleen

TITLE: Yoshua Okon: Crying Wolf



psychological aspects

SOURCE: Flash Art (International Edition) v. 37 (January/February 2004) p. 96-9
ABSTRACT: Video artist Yoshua Okon poses exciting new questions to the relation between performance and video, set and location, voyeurism and participation. The most marked effect of Okon's work is an almost uncanny triangulation between comedy, critique, and satire. Almost everything that he has done effortlessly adjudicates the cultural, aesthetic, and subjective dimensions in play between these notions in such a way that social commentary is laced with humor, irony mediated by self-reflexivity, and improvised action tangled up in webs of class and identity. An overview of Okon's work is presented.

Video art / Psychological aspects

Okon, Yoshua/Criticism

Helpful Research Facts

You may want to review the guides and tutorials found through the Information Literacy link on every library webpage. A very good Art History Writing Guide is available from University of NC at Chapel Hill.

Using the Otis Online Databases

The Library subscribes to many full-text databases that will lead you to good sources that you can use for you project. For this project, the Librarian recommends Art Full-Text, EBSCO OmniFile, eLibrary, and ProQuest.

Assistance Is Readily Available

The librarians and the library staff are your friends. Ask for reference or computer troubleshooting any time. The SRC also has tutors available to assist you with the writing of papers. Start early so that you will have time to avail yourself of these services. We all want to support your learning experience.