Deconstructed Paradise

Master's Thesis


This thesis examines the complex relationship between art and place in an age of translocality, hypermobility, and widespread displacement. As a research-based artist, my art practice integrates studio work with on-site examinations of human relationships to the built environment. My interest in examining the relationship between humans and land use has led me to sites throughout the United States as well as to France, Germany, Italy, and Greece. The research and installation-based work in this thesis display my ever-evolving understanding of the territorial, sociopolitical, and environmental web that we weave on the places we inhabit.

Within the history of contemporary sculpture, most responses to this topic tend to focus upon individual relationships to specific places through acts such as documentation, preservation, or performance. Instead, I am interested in visualizing the expansion of residential space as an existential tension between stability and precariousness. What does community look like for a translocal society increasingly defined by cultural tribalism, populist isolationism, and forced migration? Ultimately, how can this sudden fragmentation be visually expressed with a sense of criticality?


Attribute NameValues
Author Steven Lemke
Contributor Emily Beck, Committee Member
Contributor Austin I. Collins, C.S.C., Research Director
Contributor Michael Schreffler, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Art, Art History, and Design
Degree Name Master of Fine Arts
Banner Code

Submission Date 2019-04-04
  • Suburbia

  • Digital Fabrication

  • Architecture

  • Planned Communities

  • Art

  • European Studies

  • Sculpture

  • Installation Art

  • American Studies

  • Land Use

  • Landscape

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units
Catalog Record


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