Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Contemporary Art

First Advisor

Aliza Shvarts

Second Advisor

Morgan Falconer


This thesis will explore the progressive evolution of utopia and utopianism in order to answer the question: “Whose utopia?" in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on people who were already marginalized, disadvantaged, and discriminated against.

I will first review the writings of Sir Thomas More, Ernst Bloch, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Owkui Enwezor, and Jose Estaban Muñoz tracing the progressive evolution of utopian ideals. I will then introduce and survey the artist, Kimsooja’s oeuvre in relation to salient features from my review of utopia's progression, and gradually revealing her aesthetics of making as revealing utopian hope and creating what I have named “Bottari utopia” based on the metaphoric extension of her artistic vocabulary.

As chronicled in her numerous performances and videos, her concern is for persons not included, outcast, enduring violence... Bottari utopia bundles all: persons, places, things and time, in time, and is particularly inspiring, uplifting, and instructional today, as we (the world) find ourselves navigating isolation, and displacement, and face the fragility of life and uncertain future caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

I will then turn my attention to artist-activists and their import in transforming society for a better future, whether digital, virtual, or real.