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Arts Division Website Features Mary Thomas’ Research on Improvisation as an Aesthetic Strategy

June 14, 2016

In this short video, Visual Studies Ph.D. candidate Mary Thomas discusses how Noah Purifoy’s sculptural series titled “66 Signs of Neon” marks a starting point for examining a set of artistic practices in South Los Angeles grounded in improvisation. Her dissertation, titled “Enacted Sites: Art and the Visualization of Spatial Justice in Los Angeles, 1966-2014 explores how African-American and Chicana/o artists utilize improvisation as an aesthetic tactic for responding to urban conflict. Due to the absence of art historical scholarship that addresses this region, Mary is currently developing a digital map that will accompany her dissertation manuscript. 

Mary's video appears on the Arts Division webpage that features work by current students. 

Image: Installation shot of 66 Signs of Neon. 1966.

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