Term of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Art

Committee Chair

Jason Hoelscher

Committee Member 1

Elsie Howington

Committee Member 2

Marc Moulton


My artworks explore the impacts of the technology of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which began in the early 21st Century, upon global society and the human psyche. My works are instantiated by multi-year research in the areas of social psychology, cognitive dissonance, computer evolution and artificial intelligence. My body of work portrays a cautionary sensibility regards new technologies such as robotics, quantum supercomputing, Artificial Intelligence, commercial space travel and nanotechnology. In addition, my artwork attempts to increase awareness of the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance.

The perceptions and cognitions of artistic viewers relate directly to the psychological phenomenon of cognitive dissonance. Beyond that, a population over several generations may be influenced by the fine artworks of their social moment in a social psychology phenomenon known as collective cognitive dissonance. In this paper, I will review these two cognitive phenomena and how the phenomenon of collective cognitive dissonance is ubiquitous in the current social moment of the early 21st century and in metamodern artworks.

After reviewing the historical examples of USSR and Nazi Germany socialist realism, I will focus on what is now called the metamodern era. I use arguments from past and current examples to show how this phenomenon of collective cognitive dissonance is made active in fine artworks. I believe intentional and unintentional ubiquitous metanarratives, as portrayed in artworks, capture the worldviews of large subpopulations (beyond nation-states) within the internetworked globalized nanotechnology community we inhabit.

Research Data and Supplementary Material