Originally from the Boston area, Tore Terrasi is an Intermedia artist and designer residing in Arlington, Texas, where he is the Foundations Coordinator and an Associate Professor of Art and Design at the University of Texas at Arlington. After earning BFA degrees in Visual Design and English he received his MFA in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth in 2005.
The constant interplay between words and images has yielded especially fertile ground for Terrasi's research and serves as the common thread connecting all his creative activity. His ambitions as a communicator are to reconsider the conventions through which we experience texts and images by way of exploring the simultaneously independent and interdependent nature of their relationship.
A more detailed examination into his work finds two major perspectives at play. The first is shared between British art critic John Berger and French philosopher Roland Barthes. They viewed meaning in art as being derived through the varied and multiple interpretations, perceptions, and experiences of the reader/audience. This allows the artist to both control and not control the intent or meaning of a piece.The second perspective, more linguistically based, is that of Russian literary and cultural critic Viktor Shklovsky. He argued that one of the roles of art is to have a continuous cycle of de-contextualization and de-familiarization against that which is already established and familiar - turning the old and cliché into something new and revitalized.
Terrasi's work serves as a platform by which a semiotic/art hybrid approach looks to both de-familiarize our experiences with words, images, design, materiality, media, dimension, and technique (while playing against the familiarity of those very things) and in doing so, open a plurality of meaning and interpretation. As such, he freely shifts between static and dynamic media, art and design. Conceptually rooted by the word and image interplay his work invites the audience to experience information on a level of both text and image - forcing a synthesis between the verbal and the visual.