Date of Award

August 2019

Degree Type





Juan Juarez


installation art, machinima, sexuality, video



Within my body of work, I Wish I Was A Cowboy, I consider the sociocultural norms that develop and repress sexual identities, focusing on the period of adolescence. Questionable narratives from my past and personal memories coalesce around questions of female purity, self-respect and the idea of “natural” behaviors. Video and digital image interact with sculptural structures, and together the works reference subjects of taboo, kink, and repression. Various barriers, basins, and alters reference control of bodies, the view of the public, toxic ideals of “purity” and the stigmatization that surrounds sexual power possessed by femme individuals.

The title I Wish I Was a Cowboy draws attention to the devaluation that is placed on femme and femininity. Within my material choices, imagery and videos I aim to create my own femme version of being a “cowboy” situated among heavy, bleak, sterile structures.

I choose to present imagery of empowerment of femme identities in sexual situations and celebration of feminine sexuality, taking visuals from images and games created by and for a masculine audience- reclaiming them in this new femme world.

A considerable amount of my visual imagery encompasses a potential for choice of where the power is being held or enforced. It presents a grey area/ back and forth of disgust and desire, degradation and empowerment. Power, however, like identity, is not (or should not be) simply binary, but a fluid range. This work addresses the intricacies of sexual relationships, power relationships, and relationship with self.

Using visual cues from equestrian sport, video games, and intimate acts in public spaces, I create environments that mix pleasure, frustration, vulnerability, and power.


Open Access



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