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Media Messages Maze - Grace Bohanna (redirected from Media Messages Maze -)

Page history last edited by Grace Bohanna 10 years, 6 months ago

“Media Messages Maze”


by Grace Bohanna



My concept involves the portrayal of negative media influence.  The messages we receive from media are often subtle and unconscious, making them difficult to identify.  Astonishingly, a striking 95% of our decisions, actions, and emotions are driven by our unconscious minds.  The top seven media conglomerates that make up 95% of all the traditional media we receive every day are driven by profits, which are closely linked to ratings.1The capability of the impact of media is evident in the way that Hitler was able to use the media as a dangerous weapon.  Yet, media continues to influence people in harmful ways by repetitively showing stereotypical images and delivering biased and one-sided messages.  Images of violence, glorified addictive behaviors, gender stereotypes, and sexuality are pervasive as are those of an expected body image (white, thin, pretty, etc.).  We are left to navigate these images and messages that are indelibly imprinted on our brains.  My design is a brain-shaped maze with media symbols and some of the negative media images that impact our daily lives: violence, stereotypes, “values,” etc.  The maze also symbolizes the choices we make.  But in the end, we need to find a way to “unplug” our brains from these messages or we will be lost and imprisoned by them.



The sculpture was molded from clay much as our minds are molded, in large part, by media influences.  The pathways that lead to dead ends in the maze are lined with negative media images printed from online and clipped from magazines newspapers.  An electrical plug was symbolically incorporated into the brainstem area and a clay figure was added that breaks out of his head and takes control of the messages imprinted from being “plugged in.”  A mirror was used as a reflective analogy.   

The maze incorporates physical negative and positive space in its pathways and there is a contrast between empty and filled space.  The lines of the maze create movement and lack thereof.  Pictures along the way will guide the movement and create focus and the mirror adds movement and reflective repetition as well.  The shape of the maze is an organic brain shape.  A maze is a pattern, which provides unified balance.  The grayscale of the brain contrasts against the colorful images on the walls of the brain.


Creative Process: 

The creative process is documented on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aFLUewkC20&feature=youtu.be.  If that link does not work smoothly for you, please try this one (even though there is no music):  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AepzfmYu4ik.  The intent is to use the media as a virtual feedback book.  This is especially fitting for the sculpture’s theme and for reaching the intended audience.  As such, I have designed my feedback book to be a computer with Internet access placed next to the sculpture for feedback.  The artist’s statement can be found online and on the computer as well.  I have always considered myself a creative person, but have always been better at the brainstorming and idea formation part of the process.  Next time, I would not attempt a clay project on an adjusted timeline.  I really needed to fire the clay so that it would not crack and the pictures would adhere more completely.


Artist’s Statement:

The Media Messages Maze was created as a human relations project as part of the process of becoming a certified teacher in Minnesota.  Throughout the course we were challenged to face our biases and experience cognitive dissonance.  We learned about oppression and the need for teachers to help our students learn to truly value and appreciate other cultures, lifestyles, values, and other differences.  Perhaps the most important part for me was understanding the root causes of biases in order to help combat them.  The media theme for my sculpture reflects my concern for the growing negative media influence and highlights our responsibility to take control of our responses and exposure to media.  It is my hope that we will all reflect on the impact that media has on our daily lives.    


Guest Book:  The guest book was thoughtfully designed to fit the media theme.  Rather than a paper book, I chose to use a personal computer to deliver the media message about media.  This also provides an “aha moment” that media can be used in positive ways to counteract the negative effects.   


Comments (5)

katherine.vinje@... said

at 4:44 pm on Aug 5, 2013

Wow Grace! I love your concept and the detail of the images within the molded mind. What a powerful statement! The plug was a great addition as it shows how plugged in we are.

bknutson said

at 4:50 pm on Aug 5, 2013

Wow, very nicely done grace! I wondered right away before reading on if it was supposed to represent a brain (mind) so good job to you for having an oursider beign abel to distinguish that! :) I also like your ideas of negative and positive messages.

afrascone@hotmail.com said

at 8:45 pm on Aug 5, 2013

I really like the power cord sticking out. I think this makes your whole concept along with the maze. Great work!

afrascone@hotmail.com said

at 8:46 pm on Aug 5, 2013

I also like your concept because I think media can be a powerful tool; for good and bad.

Barbara Bridges said

at 6:46 am on Aug 6, 2013

Sculpture Grade: You earned a 100
Grading Criteria

Must be assemblage art 10
Must be at least one foot square and smaller than a vacuum cleaner 10
Must be 3-dimentional 10
Must have a deconstruction artist's statement with your name displayed which enhances your sculpture. 10
Must have a response book which complements your art work for guests to provide feedback. 10
1. Does the sculpture communicate a Human Relations message? 10 So few students choose this topic and it is one of the PRIMARY negative influences!
2. Does the sculpture show solid elements and principles of design? 10
3. Did you document your creative process? Include with sculpture in your feedback book. 10 Impressive…I was so very delighted with your UTube

4. Does the sculpture incorporate a new sophisticated thought or idea? 10 Yes… more high school girls are involved in this life than we can imagine!

5. Was the sculpture created with skill and craftsmanship? Your use of the clay and the light was unusual. I wish I could see it f to f?


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