Graduation Year

2018

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Art

Reader 1

Kasper Kovitz

Reader 2

Johanna Breiding

Rights Information

© 2018 Judy Lin

Abstract

In three large-scale paintings, I depict the development and presence of Silicon Valley, a high capital powerhouse in Northern California associated with technical innovation. I combine epic nature and expansive capitalist geography as expressions of the sublime, a philosophical art term that refers to greatness beyond all possible calculation, measurement, or imitation. The sublime is seen in Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich’s and contemporary photographer Andreas Gursky’s works. In my paintings, Friedrich’s traditional sublime meets with Gursky’s contemporary capitalist concerns. My painting technique involves layering several squares to suggest pixelation in the city. Artists Gerhard Richter and Thomas Ruff inspire my abstraction and pixelation as a sublime digital storm. I create my own version of compressed digital images (JPEGs) like Ruff, and I work traditionally similar to Richter with a procedure in arbitrarily layering squares of color. Pixelating Silicon Valley attempts to show the draw to a mysterious digital capital since I am also inspired by geographer David Harvey’s analysis on economic magnets in spaces. Thus, the painting technique for Silicon Valley seeks to map the sublime philosophy and capital attraction onto a technological landscape.

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