Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Studio Arts

First Advisor

Richard Saxton


Modern American civilization is a culture of oil. The discovery of this resource and its subsequent use as fuel radically changed almost every aspect of American life, and yet we collectively fail to acknowledge the ominous future unraveling as a result of our reliance on this vanishing resource. My unconscious participation in the cycle of extracting, refining and combusting this finite resource has propelled me to consider the extent to which this substance has fueled my lifestyle. While there is a general awareness of the fate that awaits our dependency on oil, this concern hardly bothers us on a day-to-day basis. My aim as an artist is to address a wider, non-art audience by distorting icons from the golden age of oil. To do this I have fabricated a fully functional coin-operated pony ride in the shape of an oil pumpjack. My intent is not to persuade people to forsake their cars for bikes, but rather to encourage viewers to consider that if current trends continue, the problems that face our culture now will only worsen for the coming .