This thesis serves as the written accompaniment to the visual work comprising the exhibit: Memory Fix, examining notions of personal geography set within more generalized conceptions of place, memory and identity formation. Further, it explores the ambiguity between ways in which place is remotely documented versus intimately experienced. We live in a culture of displacement, where technologies paradoxically render far-away places more accessible, but also contribute to the distancing of the immediate and authentic. This displacement also extends to the world of image and depiction. Place-representations are emptied of original meanings and connotations through overexposure and mass circulation. Against this void the individual struggles to retain an authentic place-based identity, lest he or she face annihilation by the forces of techno-capitalism.

Recently, I revisited several ritualized walks from my childhood, specifically my walks to school. I photographed the old journeys and mixed the imagery with maps, aerial photographs, poetry, portraits of my father, and family snaps-shots. The backlit wall pieces, collectively titled Phases of the Son provides views of this psychological landscape from remote and astronomical perspectives. The book Walk to School revisits Brooklyn from the perspective of a reflective adult looking back upon a childhood setting. The book Another Horizon most directly addresses the poetic notions of place, reverie, and the gossamer barrier that divides internal and external concepts of place. Through its physical form as books and illuminated displays, my work gains authenticity through its engagement with the viewer through a multi-medial aesthetic experience.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Place (Philosophy) in art; Memory in art; Identity (Psychology) in art; Photography, Artistic; Multimedia (Art); Artists' books

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Imaging Arts (MFA)


Therese Mulligan

Advisor/Committee Member

Angela Kelly

Advisor/Committee Member

Elliott Rubenstein


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at N8236.P46 J67 2004


RIT – Main Campus