. (tokori) wrote in mfa,

The marriage of art and technology has always intrigued me - from my first cooperative exhibit of Kid-Pix paintings in 4th grade to the April 2005 publication of my work in xx. After I graduated from high school in 1998, I decided to take a year off before college and, while traveling, was scouted by an xx modeling agent who encouraged me to move to New York. There, I soon discovered I was more at home behind the camera and in the studio than on the runway. My interest in photography was fed by an internship at xx, one of the largest photography and artist agencies in the world. I worked there as an intern for four months and had the opportunity to work directly with artists such as x and y. While working at the agency, I received an invitation to work under z. z taught me about the realities of the industry, about technology, photography and the studio. She also taught me trust of self and the art in exploration of concept. She showed me how to let go of fear and find contextual timing, which is an essential element in the voice of my work. With her encouragement, I began to study film and large format photography.
When it came time to leave New York and head to the University x, I took with me invaluable lessons gleaned from mentors and an intention to continue my love affair with art. Unfortunately, I also took with me the fashion industry’s delusion that you can’t be too thin. While in x, I took a detour through the perilous woods of anorexia nervosa. During this time, I began to use art to express my complex feelings and to educate others about my disease. I created cakes beautifully inscribed like festive birthday cakes with words like “purge,” “hate, ” and “thinner” which I left anonymously in campus bathrooms. Because food for an anorexic represents pain, yet is at its most basic level essential to life, the work had a bittersweet irony for me My goal in exhibiting this work anonymously was to relay to the viewer my personal sense of vanishment as a human. My past work and current work, continues to deal with an investigation of self, life, and the illusion that complete control is possible.
In 2000, recovering from anorexia, I returned to x and enrolled at the University x as a x major. In my first class, I found myself sitting in front of Professor x, who was well recognized for her work in activist art. Although x had quickly earned a reputation for teaching the most challenging courses in her department, it was in her classes that I found myself more exhilarated and excited about the integration of science, technology and design than ever before. I enjoyed not only the interdisciplinary environment and intellectual stimulation that she provided, but also her encouragement of exploration and investigation.
During this time, x began work on her second game for xxxx, funded by the National Science Foundation Program for xx. Out of almost five hundred x majors, she selected four students to work on the game with her. As lead game developer, I was ultimately responsible for managing the creative team, keeping up with deadlines, organizing story lines, and maintaining continuity between the code, graphics and user interface within the game. I spent much of my time on the project creating a sense of continuity by seeming the work of the artists and programmers together to create a consistent narrative within the game.
As a result of my experiences and explorations, trust has become a central theme of my work. My work is about risk and conceptualizing elements of self to emerge in the form of linear narrative within the body of work. Thanks to my experiences with anorexia, the work also encompasses my belief that in order to investigate life and art one must let go of the illusion that complete control is attainable. Therefore, much of my creative process is subtractive and experimental, removing elements until only the most necessary remain.
Experimentation was what ultimately took me to the next step in my career. In November 2003, I decided to design a x when I was unimpressed with the selection at the x. I created an innovative pattern, found unique hardware and designed my own fabrics. When I took x, I was solicited by a stranger who noticed the x was like nothing she had seen. The owner of x, admired the x and wanted to buy some to sell in her high-end boutique. After my first order to her sold out almost immediately, I knew I had a product that was marketable on a much larger scale. Just over two years later, my collection of x, called x is now available in over eighty retails shops in the United States and seven countries worldwide.
Ultimately how art is manifested in my life will be created by my masters program and the influences within the creative environment. As a result, The University x Department of x is something that is not only of professional interest to me, but also coincides with my work style as a practicing artist and student. It allows the me flexibility within my practice while being housed within a large scale liberal arts university. Additionally, the departmental accentuation on interdisciplinary work is complementary to my bachelors’ degree in multimedia. I am self-directed, motivated and would thrive working in a small program based in a large scale liberal arts environment.
I originally was drawn to x four years ago by the x Colloquium and more recently the x conference. This allowed me to further explore my interest in the applications of digital arts with industry professionals in many emerging areas within the field. I am also interested in the recent work of Professor x as it further integrates into my own studies of x and y and z. For my masters, x offers a rare combination of renowned conferences, practicing faculty, culture and a cross-disciplinary education; I will be a ready asset for the Department of x and will bring both a studied, exciting perspective to new media and an enthusiastic ability to capture the opportunities offered campus wide.

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