Bonnie Begusch
Graduate Student

Contact information


Group: Department of Art Practice

Personal statement

Interested in the space of language, legibility, and perceptual processes, Bonnie uses video, photography, and text to investigate how information can be obstructed, lost, or recombined, and how the viewer may negotiate a position within sense-making systems.

The video projection Means and Ends presents an endless array of exclamation marks, semicolons, backward slashes, and other analphabetic marks on a white ground.  In the conventional text, such symbols are meant to retreat, giving subtle cues that regulate breath and serve to make speech smooth, uninterrupted and sensible. Here, however, the camera continuously navigates back and forth, up and down along sheets of marked paper, and through movement begins to create disorienting illusion. As the scanning accelerates, a row of slashes forms a solid line as the viewer struggles to differentiate one sign from the next. At times it seems a pattern is beginning to cohere and make “sense”. As the pan slows to a stop and prepares to change direction, the marks become recognizable once again, reassuming their distinct identities. Bonnie writes, “if you place these units into a dynamic space that propels them into motion, they can shift, mutate and exceed their single-point existence to become crooked variations of line.” In this “reading towards vertigo”  influenced by both the mannerist language labyrinth and concrete poetry, “a full blossoming of the form is repeatedly cut short… we are always only provided a brief, unsatisfying glimpse of some thing in a partial state of becoming.” Does the constant movement and change of direction which hinders a complete reading of the emerging forms and patterns produce a sensation of nausea or a moment of mesmerization?

Other recent works include the series Maps and Spirals
, which reveals information screened through the back sides of navigational aids, and Tains, black monochrome photographs that take on the language of minimalist depictions of absence. During the attempt to decode hidden data something interesting happens: it is the unexpected that becomes evident as the obstructed begins to seep through – dust particles that form constellations, imperfectly aligned edges of paper peeking out from behind one another, tiny colored stains that appear on black and white reproductions. When viewing Bonnie’s art, the concentrated act of looking becomes extremely important as it leads to discovery of the barely visible.

(text by Corinna Brewer,, MFA 2011)