Streaming Media


To me, ecology is the relational, full-body awareness that I am made up of and deeply connected to everything around me; and for better or worse, this is reciprocal. I form ecotones, an ecological transitional zone between two ecosystems, with the world around me. I use this ecotonal lens to blur binaries and dissolve boundaries between me and the world “outside my body.” During my Masters of Fine Arts at Southern Methodist University, I have continuously explored and represented the lives of various more-than-human species outside of my body, including plants, fungi and protista through an ecotonal lens. Although these organisms are mostly outside my body, this process has helped me visualize and thus, better understand what’s going on inside my body by means of a process I’m calling Eco-interoception. Interoception is the perception of the internal state of a body ranging from physical to emotional sensations. Eco-interoception is a tool I have developed to improve my perception of my body’s internal state through ecological learning. This tool has become a form of healing as I imagine and emulate neurogenesis or the creation of more neural connectivity in my brain via linemaking derived from root systems in plants, fungi and protista. Eco-interoception is both anthropomorphic, as I project other species’ patterns and cycles onto myself to understand my own body, and anti-anthropomorphic, as I strive to decenter my anthropocentrism by exploring ways of being beyond human intelligence. My practice is recursive: the procedures of my practices invoking the concept I am grappling with in multiple ways that create an ecotonal visual language of rhizomatic-fractals. Representing internal and environmental cycles of decay and growth is core to my process as I capture rhizomatic patterns that become fabric; transform prints into paper yarn and knit; grow plants, mushrooms and mold cultures; sew into mold and formulate choreographic objects; and capture all of these works as 3D models for virtual worlds. My persistent search for a deeper understanding of more-than-human intelligence and necessary cycles of growth and decay have guided my eco-interoception via a healing artmaking practice.

Key Words:

Ecotones, Rhizome, Neurogenesis, Anthropomorphism, Eco-Interoception, Healing, Mycelium, Slime Molds, Fractals, Virtual Reality, Linemaking, Biomaterials, Mending/Patching

Degree Date

Spring 5-13-2023

Document Type


Degree Name



Division of Art


Melanie Clemmons

Second Advisor

Sarah Nance

Third Advisor

Burke Jam

Subject Area

Art, Ecology, Health Sciences, Materials Science, Life Sciences, Philosophy, Physiology, Sociology, Textile Fabrics, Neuroscience

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Dotterer_CV.pdf (77 kB)
Dotterer_Artist Statement.pdf (12 kB)
Dotterer_MFAExhibitionBrochure.pdf (5607 kB)
Dotterer_WorkChecklist.pdf (19 kB)
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