Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Art & Art History
The Wanderer is a multi-work installation primarily composed of a video game designed by Nicholas O'Brien and presented at the CU Art Museum from November 9th until November 29th. The work has been created specifically for the MFA Thesis show, and is overseen by professors Mark Amerika, Frances Charteris, Kim Dickey, and Yumi Roth.
The purpose of this work is to create equivalences between Romanticism and contemporary digital art practices. O'Brien creates analogies between the work of Caspar David Friedrich and contemporary models of landscape representation to to discuss how Romanticism can continue to hold relevance in today's art world. The Wanderer employs cutting edge technology including game design and Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) 3D printing tools in order to bring the tropes and visual iconography of Romanticism into a contemporary conversation. In doing so, the work asks viewers to reflect not only on art history, but also on the demands that contemporary technology enforces upon users.
By critically reflecting on video games, network technology, affective space, ruins, landscape studies, and other artists reflections on the role of nature within contemporary art, O'Brien, weaves a work of art that challenges expectations and invites audiences to self-reflect on their place within digital culture.
O'Brien, Nicholas, "The Wanderer and a Digital Sublime" (2012). Art Practices MFA Theses. 20.