This written and visual thesis examines how feminist theories surrounding the construction of a gendered subject are related and situational to the narrative of a lived body experience within a layered context of clothing. It opens up a discussion concerning the negotiated space between an individually-empowered, subject-in-process and the boundaries of social expectations outlining gender and cultural identities. The thesis introduces the concept of using an automediality framework to connect the material culture of clothing to still and motion imagery with text as a way to encapsulate and illustrate the fluid nature of becoming. It concludes by suggesting that there is space in the ever-shifting argument between the intangibility of theory and the daily practice of getting and being dressed to create new methods of writing feminist theory using a multi-dimensional autobiographical practice.

The practical components of the thesis are divided into three phases. The first phase consists of designing and constructing various articles of clothing I wear and embed into my closet as an autobiographic archive of my self.

The second phase is a complex series of visual pieces and artifacts that are divided into five sub-categories: Theory in Practice – Maps, Moments of Being – Wearings, Fragments of Self – Video, What She Said – Citations, and Material Culture – Archive.[1] Each embraces the multi-dimensional nature of automediality. Photography, illustration, video, text, design, and digital collaging are all mediums used in the construction of the pieces.

The third phase consists of designing the disparate artifacts into a digital framework that is based on the conceptual idea and fluid structure of a creative notebook. Because the narrative within an autobiographic process is continuous, The Notebooks are an evolving digital work-in-progress space that documents the thinking, designing, and making that happens in pursuit of solving the overlapping creative challenges between theory and practice.

KEYWORDS: autobiography & automediality, memory, affect, gender, age, identity, becoming, clothing

[1] Click and scroll on the hyperlinks in the abstract’s text to explore all five subcategories housing the different pieces and artifacts.

A creative thinker, maker, and designer, Jana Jarosz works by day developing visual content in the advertising industry. Living by the belief that the intersection between ideas and engagement is curiosity, she never tires of experimenting with ways to shift the boundaries of inclusivity, diversity, and cultural standards for brands and agencies. After content-creation hours, Jana spends her time thinking, writing, and designing pieces about how social and cultural expectations impact gender.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *