Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Tim Davis

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Blowing It

Titus Ogilvie-Laing

Judging by the number of videos on YouTube, backyard pyromania and gratuitous destruction would make a strong candidate for the national pastime. Give a teen a camcorder and suddenly he is Jackass cast member.

The impulse to simultaneously create and destroy is the guiding concept of this project. In my videos, I decided to perform as a version of myself. I set up objects to shoot, burn, and otherwise destroy. These situations never quite work out. As I created failed destructions over and over again, something new and compelling occurred in my work. These mistakes revealed more than I had intended, and allowed me to show the process of creation and its pitfalls as well as the

I then photographed various byproducts of the video pieces. They come from botched endeavors—if they appear on film, it is heavily edited. These objects are new relics, transformed so that something else could be made. They are presented in a way that recalls product photography, which is designed to glamorize the subject and seduce the viewer.

The act of creation requires a creator. While your average video of a guy lighting something on fire is hardly considered a work of art, they can still be compelling. This is what gave rise to the series of self-portraits. I based these photographs in the search for the source of these impulses. I plumbed the youthful hubris of my peers and my own forays and disappointments.

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