MFA Thesis: Pause.
What happens when nothing happens? Is there ever a time when nothing happens, or is it a time that goes unnoticed? When the actions we take are so habitual they disappear from our memory, where are we then? Within these mundane, daily experiences, the time between two more important events can be the most intimate, since it is not catalogued, discussed or on display for others to see. It is these tiny details that create the foundation of what we do, how we interact with the world, and the actions where the values on how we live our lives can be uncovered. What happens in them, if we have already let them become forgotten? What encounters occur in this void? How do we take notice of the unnoticed—do we even need to?
I’ve found that the act of drinking tea holds the capacity to epitomize the type of event in which we are subtly caught within a threshold of the intimate moment and the quickly forgotten. Drinking tea can act as a built-in pause on its own, consumed in conjunction with another activity, or as a way of extending hospitality. It can be an act of importance itself, or as a transitional event.
This work is centered around two main forms of collecting: personal investigation, and collective or communal investigation. When collecting the remnants of the tea, normally discarded and underappreciated, they seamlessly transform themselves in such a way that takes notice and remembers the mundane event itself. Through the repetitive actions it takes to tend to these collections, I am trying to honor not just the material, but the event that the material holds, and those individuals who have chosen to share their habits with me.