Bono, John Francis
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Melancholy is the reverberated projection of identity. That is to say, melancholy results from intense introspection that can then flash out as creation. The sense of self and one's surroundings--in particular, melancholy and its connection to the role of the artist--is what motivates and drives me. While depression, by modern medical standards, is a chronic condition that immobilizes one's mind, melancholy is acute, periodic, and, ultimately, can be freeing. The sublimation that occurs from melancholy holds great power in the making of art. The Renaissance witnessed a multifaceted paradigm shift that involved humanism, art, science, religion, and movable type, all of which revolved around the person: the subjugated subject rediscovered as sublimely self-conscious subject. In western culture this rebirth also created disestablishment and polarized thinking. Here we begin to see a split between the scientific community and the artistic community. The sciences become empirical / impersonal and the arts become holistic / personal. I want to explore the role of melancholy on consciousness as a positive force. Over the last three years of my intensive experience as a Media Study graduate student I have increasingly reflected on my subjectivity as a man in our highly technologized twenty-first century. From my early preoccupation with light and the image, to my struggles with inwardness and forms of anxiety, has come recognition of growing creative power. My studies and conversations have also historicized this process as a movement of the conscious, temperamental, and temporally-embedded body. My thesis moves from a "micro" consideration of the logic and growth of my artistic practice, focused in intensive reflection on several of my graduate student works, to a "macro" consideration of some of the rhythms and conditions of social and political creativity in the current world. And it gestures toward my final MFA project, an interactive urban installation.