Logo for Apogee: the space between research and creation

2020 Intermedia MFA Thesis Exhibition

Arturo Camacho

Conversations with the Oregon Trail and the Silent Generation: the Timeless Cusp

A lot of my early MFA work revolved around psychology and trauma; I would purposely try not to do work about myself, my origins or ethnicity since I felt I didn’t represent the sectors of my culture that deserved attention or were in constant struggle. I began my thesis work exploring generational theory and its holes through cataloging, archiving and repurposing classic popular culture media and electronics, but ended up realizing that a lot of the work I was producing and the objects I was archiving, referenced tipping points in my experience with assimilation into the American culture, the mechanisms that allowed me to overcome bereavement and cultural shock, and how these pushed my generational identity towards a Cusp. 

For the final thesis show, I was hoping to install some objects with a written narrative about the “American persona” I developed during assimilation, and photo-documentation of the next step for The Archive. Due to COVID-19, I was forced to move to a more impersonal approach when presenting my work. I rely on online blogs and forums to be able to share some objects and their narrative with the hopes of getting some feedback and discussion with others. This also helped me complete some of the work thanks to some new friends from the online communities I participated with during this process. 

View Arturo speaking about his work.

Transcript – Arturo Camacho – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response

Rachel Church

I love it when you make me coffee in the morning. 

My graduate school career has involved many nights away from my husband and home, living out of suitcase as I went back and forth to campus. With COVID-19, that abruptly stopped and has me living full-time at home again. With the gallery exhibition on hold, my attention turned from creating a gallery-based installation, to cooking and working on my cookbook: I love it when you make me coffee in the morning. Inspired by the cookbooks produced by church and community groups, this cookbook memoir honors the foods that three generations of men in my family cooked, and how that symbolizes the shared partnership and support for their wives’ careers.

View Rachel speaking about her work.

Transcript – Rachel Church – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response

Josh Couturier

The Inter-Art Machine (NeurAuto)


Josh’s investigation of NeurAuto as an embodied research practice focuses on constructing life through art, attentiveness, and creative explorations. This research helps him develop methods of wellness and creates the fabric of his thesis work on the Inter-Art Machine.

View Josh speaking about his work.

Transcript – Josh Couturier – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response

Reed Hayden

My research is an effort to investigate and understand the origins and nature of human awareness. My creative practice is an extension of this research and is produced by modeling cognitive theories and systems. The results of these models inspire my art. These artworks share my insights in a direct non-conceptual way. The art is therefore presented so as to reflect the spirit and the findings of the investigation.

View Reed speaking about his work.

Transcript – Reed Hayden – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response

Aylah Ireland


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this thesis exhibit was voted to be installed in separate locations, documented and presented via the web. This site-specific installation was destined for the attic space in my grandmother’s home which complements an overall installation of art pieces in her house. Because my grandmother is high-risk and on a strict no-visit isolation, I have installed this piece in my own attic space with plans to move the installation once safe to do so.

View Aylah speaking about her work.

Transcript – Aylah Ireland – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response

Note: Video does not have sound. Accessible text-only description of Matrilineal video.

Link to Aylah Ireland’s Bio

Anna Martin

Phenomenal Exchange 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it. In the developing wake of this experience we are finding new ways to work, share, connect, grieve, listen, love and endure. 

Over the past seven months, I have had the privilege of working with six collaborators to build my thesis which is rooted in listening, shared experience and time. 

Meeting with each collaborator individually, we continue to share our thoughts and experiences, gaining deeper understandings of who we are and why these connections are essential.  

This exhibition presents a series of artifacts from each experience shared between collaborators.  As in any exchange, there is a starting point and it is from that offering that courage, trust and vulnerability lead to the emergence of what is unanticipated, beautiful and new. 

View Anna speaking about her work.

Transcript – Anna Martin – Without Borders 2020 Thesis & COVID-19 Response 

We Can Do This


44.8861° N, 68.6689° W

From You to Me

From Me To You

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