Contemporary Arts - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

Receive updates for this collection

Other Inland Empires

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-11-21
Abstract: 

Shimmering between here/there, self/other, now/then, Other Inland Empires is a stage performance which traces the Jewish roots of surf culture from Europe to California and back again. Inspired equally by historical coincidence, autoethnographic field work, and exploration of site, the piece was developed through 14 months of writing and devising. With palm trees, fabric, and a roving green screen, four actors, an in-audience musician, and a director-performer transform a bare stage into a shifting landscape, while the audience watches from the comfort of beach chairs. Drawing from strategies of postdramatic theater, performative autoethnography, and audience relations to installation and site-based performance, this work aimed to create an oscillating space in which story and image double and re-double upon themselves, the fictional interrupts the real, and the personal grazes the political.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video documentation of Other Inland Empires performed October 6, 2017 at Studio T at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Hill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

The Living Surfaces #2: Rhythmic Wanders

Date created: 
2017-11-23
Abstract: 

The Living Surfaces #2 – Rhythmic Wanders is the second of a series of video art projects that uses the projection mapping technique to make projections over sculptures created together with the projected content. In addition, these projects bring up questions regarding spatiality, musicality, movement, performativity and narrativity. In Rhythmic Wanders, I create an interactive multichannel video installation in which a sequence of 8 independent music video loops are projected over four sculptures used as a tridimensional screen. The music videos consist of a collection of beats, melodies and environments, collected from meetings with musicians I met in Canada, Brazil and the United States. Images and sounds, themselves derived from my affective memories of those location as well as my relations with the musicians, are assembled algorithmically as the visitor(s) wander(s) around the installation space filled with strategically positioned presence sensors.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
The Living Surfaces# 2: Rhythmic Wanders - Installation's video documentation
Senior supervisor: 
Arne Eigenfeldt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Because We Are Used To Living

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-12-01
Abstract: 

BecauseWeAreUsedToLiving is a mediated performance that explores the parasitic process of its own creation. Parasites are often performing, reading their host’s movements like a script in order to gain access into their carefully guarded boundaries. Once inside, the parasite can gradually throw off the hosting body’s equilibrium, triggering feedback loops of systemic dissonance. Parasites are often documenting, investigating their host’s bodies like auditors in order to find refuge within their highly organized machinery. Once incorporated, the parasite can merge with its host, spontaneously giving rise to ecological novelty. BecauseWeAreUsedToLiving is host to its own parasitism; through a network of precarious wormholes it feeds off itself across time. Using video, music, installation, text, and performance, the work presents its own process of transformation, which occurs across disciplinary and temporal boundaries. Through a methodological framework that is based on parasitic strategies of performance and documentation, BecauseWeAreUsedToLiving seeks to gain access to alternate universes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
This video features a re-enactment of a meeting between David Biddle and Linda Fox. The meeting took place in "Stanley Park".
This video features a customer testimonial for a virtual reality experience called "Lep-E Alternatives™".
Senior supervisor: 
Judy Radul
Steven Hill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

A Walk for 09.09.17

Date created: 
2017-10-12
Abstract: 

A Walk for 09.09.17 was a walking practice that invited engagement of the senses through the geography of Vancouver and focused on being present. Traversing through Vancouver’s Chinatown and Strathcona neighbourhoods, the work explored site as a composition and invited the audience into the role of performer/composer. The audience was lead through a preconceived path of which they were unaware and were encouraged to listen, breathe, walk, and practice being in the present moment together. Throughout the walk, performers were encountered in specific locations where they were musically improvising. The work explored methods of listening, invitation, and sharing (listening) experiences with others.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
A Walk for 09.09.17.mp3
Senior supervisor: 
Arne Eigenfeldt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

in several times

Date created: 
2017-09-28
Abstract: 

in several times is a choreography of space, memory and the body. Developed from personal stories, family history and nostalgic association, the work aims to create a place in which several times and environments can be remembered and acknowledged simultaneously. The process of creating this work began with a trip to spaces that held significance to my family, searching for traces of the past in the present, and the recollection of senses that connect my body to these spaces and my history. The work has been developed with the creative input of five performers, two sound designers and a lighting designer who meet in an ever evolving concert, enveloped in wafts of fresh dill and lemon. Presented in traverse arrangement, with two different sound spaces at either end of the corridor, the performance surrounds the viewer bringing them into the collective act and embodiment of remembering, recalling and sensing.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Rob Kitsos
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

visiting hundun's territory

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-09-19
Abstract: 

visiting hundun’s territory is a sculpture that stands 3 m tall, 2 m wide, and 0.9 m deep. The sculpture is made up of several elements: a drawing cut into a screen, fluorescent lights, a plastic curtain, and automated fans. The sculpture breathes, blowing its curtain when it exhales and sucking it against a screen door when it inhales, revealing the abstracted drawing. As a research project, this work intersects Daoist philosophies, Islamic art practices, and contemporary theories to agitate settled concepts such as infinity, spontaneity, and spirituality. The work explores the relationship between knowledge and intuition; going beyond concepts of quantifiable knowledge and embodied knowledge in an attempt to think through a concept of non-discursive knowledge.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video detailing visiting hundun’s territory as installed in at the Audain Gallery, Vancouver, September 2017.
Senior supervisor: 
Laura Marks
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Mirror Staging the Seeing Place

Date created: 
2017-06-20
Abstract: 

Mirror Staging the Seeing Place is a choreographic project that exploits the mechanics of image construction within the theatrical apparatus to reconfigure cultural representations that are embedded in the female body. Dually informed by practice- based research and an 18 month-long intellectual courtship with feminist psychoanalytic theory, the project centres around the figure of the dancer. Working with a movement base generated through a mimetic reproduction of North American pop-cultural icons from the 20th and 21st centuries and gender-specific stereotypes, the solo dancer performs a series of deconstructive actions that increasingly mutate the original forms. The scenography and sound are organized around this mimetic/deconstructive arc; the theatre space is captured and reflected in a long wall of mirrors, and the diegetic sounds are amplified, doubled, and displaced. The doubling and displacing of sight and sound troubles the reading of the body. The project plays with multiple perspectives on the female body, in order to revise (re-vision) how it can be seen.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
The video documents the live performance of Mirror Staging the Seeing Place on June 1st, 2017 in Studio T, SFU.
Senior supervisor: 
Peter Dickinson
Steven Hill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

The Audience of the Singular

Author: 
Date created: 
2017-05-26
Abstract: 

The Audience of the Singular explores and challenges the traditional role of audiences. The Audience of the Singular uses an interactive video game form to allow the audience to interact with the performance in real-time. Each time the game is played, new music is generated by a corpus-based, machine-learning system. The audience then collaborates with an arranger system and a virtual audience to play through their own personal musical performance. By utilizing the interactive, real-time nature of the video game, The Audience of the Singular removes the audience from its traditional role as a passive spectator, and instead places them in an active authorship role in their own unique performance.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Arne Eigenfeldt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Here and There and Their and Here

Date created: 
2016-11-17
Abstract: 

My thesis projects point of departure is the immediate neighbourhood where I currently reside. Located at the corner of Hastings Street and Columbia, this region is significant as it straddles the line between two distinct zones of the city; not quite the downtown core and not entirely in the downtown eastside. This liminal space is host to a variety of jarring contrasts that impact both the lives of local residents, and the spaces they inhabit. My final work was designed to mimic the spatial dimensions of my micro-unit apartment, and reflect the various contradictions of modern urban living that surround my location: renewal/decay, wealthy/poor, public space/private space, healthy bodies/unhealthy bodies, formal/informal economies, and conformity/anarchy. In the following document, I discuss the decision-making process that resulted in my thesis exhibition, Here and There and Their and Here, and examine how Walter Benjamin’s theory of allegory, and Henri Lefebvre’s concept of Rhythmanalysis, can be brought into a critical alignment and actualized in contemporary installation art.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Judy Radul
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Flat pyramid

Date created: 
2017-03-03
Abstract: 

'Flat pyramid' is a multi-channel video installation. The project employs appropriated promotional and instructional video from a defunct pyramid scheme as the source material for fictionalized reenactment. The footage primarily consists of presentation documentation, testimonial interviews, and product photography—throughout all of which cutting rarely occurs between takes. Perpetrators and victims are seen moving in and out of their promotional personas, inadvertently making their disquieting intentions apparent. Through performative errors or deliberate rejection, people and things often struggle, fail or resist adhering to the scheme’s ideology. ‘Flat pyramid’ isolates these moments and, consequentially, mimics the trajectory of the scheme itself: inevitable failure and collapse. It asks us to consider why we permit unsustainable inequalities and the fantasies that uphold them.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video documentation of the installation and opening
Senior supervisor: 
Christopher Pavsek
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.