AXIS is a thesis investigating the connections between mental health and art. Utilizing a source narrative about isolation and depression, AXIS explores the concepts of clinical psychology through a variety of mediums. This paper outlines the inspirations, processes, and outputs of these explorations. Using Karen Stever’s album, “Playground Isolator, AXIS transforms a piece of art used to battle depression and push it into the larger scope of mental disorder. The first of these outputs is a hand-bound book using a literal method of interpretation; the second is a series of photographs taken by an inspired diagnosis of the previous narratives, and finally culminating in an audio/visual installation.

AXIS was created to take one person’s story and posit it within a great field of research as well as create new pieces of art based on the original expressions of the album. Ranging theories from art therapy to variable media, this paper outlines the methods and outputs from origin to installation.

If you want to be brave and take a look at the 100+ page thesis for this project as well as my overall intermedia portfolio (very image heavy), the document explains the project in depth; what the photos mean, the video inspiration, why there are razorblades in the cake and who the character in the video is. Read the

Read the THESIS .

Individual Photos – As part of the thesis project, I took 36 photographs inspired by the content of the DSM-IV (shown at the end of the photo gallery). Each song was diagnosed with a disorder, then a photo was taken based on the description of the Etiology , Symptoms and Treatment of each disorder. For example – “Skin” was diagnosed with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and the photos for those corresponded to the description the DSM has for BDD.

Video inside of installation – This video was housed in the space across from the chair. The audience would then look upon this video as if they were at the head of the table and the character was joining them (or vice versa).


Video of exhibition – This video is of the Without Borders VIII exhibition opening night. The video is primarily the audience interacting with the space. If nothing else, it is interesting to see how certain people spend their time and focus in an art space (especially an immersive installation).