Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

College of Visual and Performing Arts

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Dove

Commitee Members

Kevin Bell, Matthew Hamon, Valerie Hedquist, Sarah J. Halvorson


Art, Place, Wilderness, Photography, Landscape, Land


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Fine Arts


Agency Panic: A Reckoning of Place may be best described as a type of documentation of a conversation between the Gates of the Mountains Wilderness and myself, one where a mutual language is not spoken but one where some understanding can be reached none-the-less. By moving through the landscape without goals or intentions a physical exchange ensues, a push and pull, a call and response, intimacy is gained through tactile experience. Through the use of wet-plate collodion photography I am able to create imagery that engages directly with the place. Its vulnerability records a conversation between two acting powers, artist and land, the images becomes a record of the agency of the place. The research behind the work investigates the role of anesthetization as a form of domination over land in photography by discussing artists like Ansel Adams and Elliot Porter, as well as the unintentional presence of the agency of land in the images Timothy O’Sullivan. My research also breaches the gap between contemporary place theory and contemporary art. The exhibition of Agency Panic: A Reckoning of Place uses photography, writing, and sound as evidence of a conversation between two active agents and challenges viewers to consider themselves in relation to land, landscape, and place.

Included in

Fine Arts Commons



© Copyright 2018 Brock m. Mickelsen