Date of Award

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Jennifer Johung

Committee Members

Elena Gorfinkel


bodies, embodiment, interactive art, language, technology


This thesis essay and accompanying exhibition examine the capacity of interactive art to stage situations for participants to explore embodiment. In presenting the four-part interactive suite "Body Language" by Nathaniel Stern, the exhibition invites viewers to engage with digital projections that track and respond to movement by producing animated text and spoken utterances. Through the juxtaposition of motion performed by the viewer’s physical body with computer-generated words and speech, "Body Language" explores the complex ways in which the body and language depend upon each other to create and communicate meaning. This essay also proposes that the gallery uses its power as a trusted cultural institution to construct language that shapes how audiences understand art.