2023 MFA Thesis Exhibition, CHAOTIC GOOD, opens May 19th

UCSB Art, Design, & Architecture Museum
May 19th – Sunday, June 4th

Opening Reception:
Friday, May 19th
5:30 – 7:30pm
7pm: Performance by Matthew Robert Johnson in the Gravel Pit



I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself
in order to give birth to a dancing star.
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1883


The 2023 Master of Fine Arts Program graduating artists present: Chaotic Good. Deriving from a fantasy role-playing game, the chaotic good alignment defines characters that epitomize independent thought and practices, striving to achieve what they subjectively define as “good.” They are ingenious, adaptable, and intrepid. Disregarding the boundaries of traditional media, the exhibiting artists interrogate contemporary modes of communication and sociability, human and non-human interactions, nature and the landscape, and the making of biography, memory, and history. Their artworks are layered and unbridled, prompting new ways of being and doing, forging pathways for future explorations by themselves and others.


Kevin Clancy constructs delicate, entangled relics of human-computer interactions ablaze in the ominous, yet ethereal, glow of an uncertain future.


The collective eka.gren performs within an organic cage that reenacts the womb, blurring the divide between human and animal existence in the continuous cycle of birth, life, and decay.


Maja Skjøth Hegelund imagines void-like environments with suspended fictional characters, always in waiting, that succeed or fail in their fabricated world.


Military brat Matthew Robert Johnson unsettles the viewer from his camouflaged watchtower which emanates strange sounds, putting into question quotidian warfare tactics, surveillance, and paranoia.


Artist and part-time geologist Dani Kwan surveys the landscape of California through scientific research methods, bridging the divide between the white cube and the geosphere.


Johnny Onionseed solidifies his multiverse of existence, offering a glimpse into another world, another realm, and another state of being with the heads, bodies, and words of strangers as your copilot.


Kate Saubestre thematizes the open road, a space abundant with possibility – as Western progress-centered mythologies would have us believe – but one that fundamentally alters our way of interacting with our environment.


May the artwork excite and provoke you into birthing your own dancing star.


Curated by Letícia Cobra Lima and Victoria Jennings
Ph.D. Graduates, History of Art and Architecture


For more information please see the AD&A Museum’s website: https://museum.ucsb.edu/news/feature/1066