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

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Reversing the undone

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-07-17
Abstract: 

Reversing the Undone arrives in the mail as a series of letters engaged with moving and sewing in reverse. Each hand-crafted parcel contains a set of seven missives to be read over the span of a week, with accompanying “suggested pairings” for the time of day, place in home, or sort of snack to enjoy during each reading. The pages include researched reflections on reversal processes, articulated through the practice of sewing. Each day considers a specific facet of backwardation, offering handwritten and typed text, stitches and folds that interact with rewound concepts through an assemblage of thread, paper, and typography. Reversing the Undone operates as a score for the reader, who both enacts and witnesses its performance by reading, holding, and gesturing through movement invitations written within the text, or through the sheer need to unfold, untie, and even cut the work in order to fully enter inside. Created during COVID’s closure of performance venues, Reversing the Undone is a piece made to be touched, a hopeful salve during a time of stymied physical contact and social connection.

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

Edgelands

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-11-14
Abstract: 

In a time of ecological collapse, Edgelands (2019) considers the potentialities of making, speaking, mourning, caring, and growing with beings and forces that are other-than-human. Moving between soil communities on the Northwestern coasts of Scotland and Canada, my research focuses on the life-ways of plants and the vegetative microorganism mycelium indigenous to these regions to ground my interdisciplinary and collaborative enquiries. This research has been concerned with the ways in which practices of human and nonhuman making and care might meet. Combining human-nonhuman weavings, a soundscape and series of care-taking gestures, Edgelands is a performative installation that asks, how can multispecies alliances engage an ethics of care? As rhythms of human and nonhuman construction enfold, so too do landscapes, weaving together care practices within and across species, lands and timescapes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Edgelands - Songs for the Edges by Amy Wilson
Supervisor(s): 
Claudette Lauzon
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Revealers

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-20
Abstract: 

Revealers is a collection of artworks that centres on photographic logic and the way that it shapes light into images of the world. Through diverse processes of seeing, making and exposing, the exhibition showcases alternative visions of reality that have been enabled through engagements with light as both subject matter and material. Rooted in the idea of photographic exposure, each work separately examines how light interacts with thresholds, forms impressions, and gives shape to multiple and diverse visual worlds. Rather than considering the transference of light as having any kind of processual resolution, these works are formed under the leitmotif that light is a field and, as such, is constantly active — before, during, and after images are formed.

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

Playback Head

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-11-22
Abstract: 

Playback Head is an audiovisual journey that considers the transience of time, the bonds of family, and the experience of (im)migration. This project is comprised of two separate pieces: a multichannel audio/video installation, and a short film. It combines footage collected over a period of fifty years, on both analogue and digital media, with a collage of evocative soundscapes and experimental music. A synesthetic depiction of past events—recollections of childhood, travelling, and different homes—these works combined investigate possible relations between sound and image, employing different kinds of media technologies, and set in distinct contexts, such as the cinema and the gallery space, each one with its own set of possibilities and idiosyncrasies.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Appendix B. Excerpt from the short film Playback Head
Appendix C. Video documentation of the multimedia installation Playback Head
Supervisor(s): 
Arne Eigenfeldt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

New societies

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-27
Abstract: 

New Societies is an interactive theatrical experience playing a strategic board game. Seated at tables from 4 to 6 guests, players compete against or collaborate with each other in order to build their ideal society. Facilitated by a cast of eleven performers, one seated at each table and three in the centre of the room, the players propel the main movement of the performance. Echoing the politics and systemic issues we face in contemporary societies, players must navigate difficult decisions as their divisions progress. Players can either choose to build their societies as Empires or Utopias but each decision the player makes will influence how all the other guests can play. New Societies is a playful challenge to reflect on how we operate as inheritors of our current societal structures and act potential catalysts for newer and better ones.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
Supervisor(s): 
Kyla Gardiner
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

I AM HER, SHE IS ME

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-09-11
Abstract: 

I am her, she is me (2019) is an art installation that analyzes biases and violence of archival systems found in my family history of gendered injustice based on patrilineal descent. Women of my family have never been recorded in any lineage documents leading up to my generation. Lady Fatima (daughter of Prophet Muhammad and Khadija) is the focal point of my genealogy and artwork. She represents much more than just a female entity. She embodies a legacy, a cause. The artwork and research is realized after an ethnographic analysis of the systemic violence. The scope of the work operates within the parameters of political minimalism. The subtle gestures and poetics of different elements in the installation offer an opportunity for exploration and a visual dialogue with its viewers.

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

Sense, Reset

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-06-12
Abstract: 

Lief Hall is an interdisciplinary artist working as a composer, singer-songwriter, performance and installation artist. Hall’s sound and music compositions incorporate extended vocal technique, processed voice and electronic music production to explore experimental and ‘pop’ music forms. Projecting onto sculptural objects made of paper vellum or textile, Hall’s installation and performance works explore tensions between material and virtual worlds. These spaces are activated by the movement of viewers or performers, with choreography developed through processes of improvisation and embodied research. Hall’s graduate project Sense, Reset is an audiovisual installation that explores virtual experiences of nature, land and place. The installation looks at ways in which globalism and the commodification of nature has complicated our understanding, perception and relationship to the material world. Sense, Reset traverses the audiovisual landscapes of online healing culture, enticing the spectator into an immersive environment; an illusory, sensorial, post-geographic space.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
etd20387-lief-hall-Sense, Reset_Documentation1.mp4
etd20387-lief-hall-Sense, Reset_Documentation2.mp4
Supervisor(s): 
Eldritch Priest
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

All that glitters is not gold...

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-05-03
Abstract: 

The phrase “All that glitters is not gold” refers to seemingly universal life lessons where visible perceptions of beauty and value are revealed as a façade. The phrase is also akin to golden, shiny metals, which appear valuable but are actually not as valuable – such as the misidentification of pyrite as gold. In this project, it refers to the imperfect connections between land, identity, location and belonging(s). It is a nod to the sparkle of copper in the project, a material that glitters but is not gold. All that Glitters is Not Gold... is also a reference to the name of the institutional space at Simon Fraser University, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

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

Music for the augmented pipe organ

Author: 
Date created: 
2019-01-15
Abstract: 

Music for the Augmented Pipe Organ is a composition for a 74-rank Casavant pipe organ which incorporates newly devised digital controls systems. The work stemmed from research into the confluences between the pipe organ and contemporary electronic and digital music practices. With a reflexive attention to the organ’s spatial context and unique embodiment of the harmonic series, the work explores new sonic terrains that emerge through a digital approach to the world’s oldest mechanical synthesizer. Through this process of hybridizing acoustic and digital sonic imaginations, the work creates a dialog between the vibrant material and ethereal space of the organ and the techniques of electronic and post-digital music forms. Site-specific elements such as the church’s architecture and interior acoustics are further incorporated into the work through the use of a controlled feedback system and projection mapping, considering the resonant relationships between the instrument and its surrounding space as a generative element interwoven into the composition.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
etd20255-george-rahi-musicfortheaugmentedpipeorgan.mp4
Supervisor(s): 
Sabrina Schroeder
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

iihksiisiinatsiistostiimao nipaitapiitsiin

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-03-15
Abstract: 

iihksiisiinatsiistostiimao nipaitapiitsiin uncovers and puts into practice an Indigenous performance-creation paradigm. As a dancer, performance artist, musician and composer, I incorporate ritual as a way of inviting the viewer to become an active part of the work itself. My vision is to continue to investigate de-colonization methodologies in performance creation through my own embodied experiences. Indigenous Contemporary Dance has been a growing field, and the field of Critical Indigenous Dance Studies has not grown at the same rate. Historically, Indigenous dance artists and scholars have had to engage in western pedagogy and theory in order to discuss their work. We are now in a resurgence era, where, Indigenous dance artists and scholars are now able to discuss, theorize and create works grounded in Indigenous ontologies, epistemologies, ethics, and paradigms. This performance presents research, context, and highly structured improvisation in an Indigenous dance work theoretically and ethically based in Cree and Blackfoot ways-of-knowing.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Appendix B: Video Documentation of Live Performance 1
Supervisor(s): 
Robert Kitsos
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.