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An Immersive Concept by AliCat

Have you ever felt obligated to keep something you don’t want?


This is an ongoing collaborative project which invites you, as a participant, to let go of an object that you have felt obligated to keep, but do not want.


Transitional Object

1. a doll, blanket, or other thing spontaneously chosen and used by a child to ease the anxiety of separation from his or her first [an] external object, the mother, until the child [person] has established an internal object, or mental representation of her, that provides a sense of security and comfort. [first described by British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott (1896–1971)]

2. by extension, any person or thing that provides security, emotional well-being, and a symbolic connection with a valued other.      (

The  “lovey” or “stuffie”, as it’s colloquially known, is a commonly accepted and encouraged childhood experience/commodity which indicates our acknowledgment of the value/relevance of transitional objects.  Yet that practice of using an object in place of a person or experience, which is so normalized in childhood, is disregarded in our expectations of adult-object relationships.   Throughout the creation of this exhibition the aforementioned formative human experience is cast onto the broader concept of transitions and asks what might be keeping an object from moving on?

Across many cultural beliefs, as well as in the interdisciplinary field of New Materialism, and the metaphysics theory of Object Oriented-Ontology, objects are not exclusively acted upon by outside forces, but have agency of their own.  We often believe that we give meaning to objects - animating them in our likeness, but what inherent properties and independent  ability to act do objects have that allow this exchange?  What unknown qualities of a thing exist independently of the subject/ interaction rendering an object meaningful?


In addition to the trans[formative] possibilities of objects, my interests lie in the materials and objects often regarded as trash, and even what is socially understood to be trash.  Through the reclamation of materials/objects used to build new structures with the explicit intention of housing the unwanted (but emotionally significant) objects contributed from friends, family, and community members, I aim to highlight object agency and even make space for the emergence of unknown innate qualities.





This evolving project is undergirded by the larger framework of my practice, which remains critical of but continuously influenced by my experience as a queer neurodivergent person on the design and fabrication side of the entertainment industry.  To learn more about my art practice and further methodologies in the creation of Transitional Objects, please look around here or visit my instagram

Richard 'Augi' Maher, von curtis, Nicole Fletcher, Caitlin Carney, Mika Yokota, Trevor Coopersmith, Susan Minette, Kristen Wheeler, Sayer Delk, Brynne Chappelle, Jynx Prado, Erica Everage, Ingrid, Ashley Jarosz, Parker Daines, Asher Hartman, Suwichada Busamrong Press, Jim Press, Alicia Serling, Alexis Roth, Leo Alas, Xixi Edelsbrunner, Ash Garduno, Tara Pixley, Glenn Freund, Melisa Myers, Mai Thai, Merissa Mann, Judie Bamber, Renée Petropoulos, Erica G. Peralta, Joseph Louis Sherman Jr.

Many thanks to the professors at Otis' MFA program, in particular Jennifer Moon, Asher Hartman, Judie Bamber, Kathrin Burmester, and Kade L. Twist for their assistance and support in the development of this concept.  Also big thank you to my family, particularly my partner Tara Pixley, and my mother Susan Minette for their support of all my pursuits.

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