Date of Award


First Advisor

Rebecca Fiske

Second Advisor

David LaSpina


This thesis uses basketball and basketball culture as a translator for two modes of overcoming the barrier of language and a discrepancy between what is said and what is intended: photography (mainly postmodern photography) and mysticism. The comparisons made between the three subjects are an attempt to better understand conversations on and make points about things like viewership, theory, and modern life. The interlocking abstractions between them were examined in the chapters titled MEMORY, TIMELESSNESS, and KITSCH, and the following two chapters KNEE PALACES and THE TV SAT AS THE FOCUS OF THE ROOM AND PERFORMED THESE STORIES TOO are writings with a complete blurring between the modes of working, meaning that photography, basketball, and mysticism are all described with the same breath in the same sentence. The thesis is supplemented by a photographic component that made photographic representations of various ideas and motifs presented in the writing component.

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