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I'm the Dummy, You're the Dummy

  • Author(s): Walker, Evelyn
  • Advisor(s): Van Genderen, Monique
  • et al.
Abstract

Abstract:

This essay is best experienced in tandem with Evelyn Walker’s MFA thesis exhibition I’m the Dummy, You’re the Dummy. The paper has a split personality: one personality is a caricature from inside the text and is not aware of any other reality. That personality (designated as the Scientist, for short) is the dominant persona hereafter and speaks as though their credibility as an authority of science is beyond question. The second personality (designated as the Author or Artist) operates here in the introduction, as well as the footnotes, and offers insight the in-text personality has no access to. Namely:

• The use of the conventions of a science publication sets up a subconscious social contract between reader and author, whereby the reader expects credible information to be delivered. The Author aims to exploit that expectation and none of the content actually represents the scientific process.

• The Scientist is not aware that anything is amiss and approaches the content in earnest. They are unaware of any quackery in their argument, or else they believe themselves above scrutiny. This behavior is echoed in both the cited content, and the visual installation. This pillar-of-truth phenomenon is a fascinates the Author.

• Although the cited content and opinions in this essay should be treated with caution—Evelyn Walker is an artist and is less concerned with fact than with crafting an inquisitive experience—the subjects discussed are to be explored in earnest despite the performative veneer.

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