Author(s)Shin, Yae Jin
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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This thesis explores the sensory human experience through the study of facial expression and non-verbal vocal articulation in hopes of better understanding the range of modes of communications possible both interpersonally and between people and their environment. In contrast to the common presumption that language constitutes the easiest and most effective communicative medium, I argue that it is possible to interact with others and express oneself through alternate senses as well. My investigation of such communicative alternatives focuses particularly on facial expression and the phenomenon of muteness. The former is investigated as a space in which novel sensations are explored in literature and film. As an especially cogent example of filmic use of facial expression I address at length the role facial gestures play in the absence of vocal expression in Carl Dreyer's silent film classic, The Passion of Joan of Arc Constituting the latter focus, muteness is investigated through a historical survey of the development of the stock mute character following the advent of talkie-films. In stark contrast to the silent films that had preceded them, early talkies such as Howard Hawk's characteristic Hollywood screwball film His Girl Friday reveled in the novel freedom of vocal synchronization to create a trademark style of rapid dialogue. Within this development, I focus on the role of silent films in talkies and interrogate the relegation of filmic mutes to the role of sub-character. Moreover, I consider the expressive possibilities of films peopled solely with mute characters and the potential avenues for mutual comprehensibility within such a project, concentrating on how alternative sensory media might enable understanding. In conclusion, I analyze several of my own recent works that focus on either facial expression or the phenomenon of muteness, in keeping with the foregoing discussion of both categories. In the former category of images of the human face, I present two of my video works, The Camouflage (2012) and The Mutes (2012), explaining the creative process behind each project from conceptualization to final execution as well as how the literature and films reviewed in the first chapters informed both projects. Lastly, in the latter category of muteness, I discuss the discourse between sound and other sensory experiences by considering my public art work, You can say ANYTHING to me.
Thesis (S.M. in Art, Culture and Technology)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2013.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-57).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology