Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Adam Davis

Reader 2

Ken Gonzales-Day

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© 2018 Tirza J Ochrach-Konradi


Due to its cheap, pervasive, and disposable nature, post-consumer plastic has no subjectivity in its relation to the consumer. My thesis project examines the material’s inherent destructive narrative and question its ability to have extrinsic value beyond the assumptions of trash. In my research, I found that humans instinctually seek to conserve and treat biotic material with care. This fact has become a catalyst for the works in this project, which aim to not only increase the material’s value through animate biomorphic transformation, but also counter our disposable tendencies.

At the onset of this project, I was fixated solely on the physical potential of plastic, but in researching cultural narratives, I became more aware of the social significance that post-disposal plastic material holds. Artistic works by Mark Bradford and El Anatsui helped me understand the potential for re-inscribing new meaning into materials that have had a prior existence, and the art of Lynda Benglis and Tim Hawkinson inspired my technical application. From there, I applied the aesthetics of biomorphism, which resulted in a culminating piece that utilizes melted and deformed bubble wrap to evoke reptilian skin or a micro-biotic cell community.

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