Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Friedlander

Reader 2

Adam Novy

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This thesis aims to consider the political implications of the immersive artworks and Infinity Mirror Rooms series of contemporary installation artist, Yayoi Kusama. The work draws from queer and feminist theories of temporality, including José Muñoz’s frameworks of hope and concrete utopias, and Laurent Berlant’s cruel optimism. This paper considers the current media studies research of immersive art exhibits and the phenomenological approaches to art criticism, using affect theory to further the analysis of viewer’s physical reactions to the future, and consider the mind-body sensory relationship as part of the reciprocal relationship with the art. Kusama’s art creates a queer, nonlinear temporality for the viewer by using elements like mirrors, lights, and enclosure to evoke themes of infinity, eternity, and self-obliteration. In doing so, Kusama’s installations function as concrete utopian projects that catalyze potential imaginations of the future by highlighting distortions in the present.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.