2020 BFA THESIS SHOW
BOSTON UNIVERSITY
COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS


























 

OLIVIA WILLIAMS

olivia-williams.com
Thesis Project 


The Life and Strange Surprising Self-Isolation of Olivia Williams, of Boston, Massachusetts: Who Lived Indefinitely, With Housemates in an Inhabited Town of Colorado, near the Steamboat Mountain; Having Been Cast on Shore by COVID-19, Wherein All Humanity Self-Isolated Including Herself. With an Account how she was at last as Strangely Deliver’d. Visualized by Herself.

Curious about the function of moments of disconnect in daily life, I wondered in what contexts do people zone out, i.e., allow their minds to wander from the present moment. I expanded the scope of my area of interest to include not only mental zones we inhabit, but also constructed zones. When is zoning out a choice and when is it an imposition? How is zoning out an indication of privilege?

When thinking about how to visualize zoning out, I drew inspiration from my English major and my experience of self-isolating during the COVID-19 crisis. Looking to analog and digital references, such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s A Tree of Codes and Ted Nelson’s hypertext experiment Project Xanadu, I deconstructed a classic narrative of isolation: Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe. The output is an amalgam of visual experiments, conceptual approaches, and photographs. A show of process, the multipart video component navigates the experience being zoned out of one’s normal experience.




Textual Tree, 2020, digital

Disconnected, 2020, digital

Categorizing, 2020, digital

Infinitely More, 2020, digital