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

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Memories For The Future

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-10
Abstract: 

Memories For The Future is a wall-mounted photographic and sculptural installation emerging from my archive of affective family snapshots from the 1990s and 2000s. Everyday textiles, bodily substances, and shadows are abstracted from these fragmented photographs to form accompanying wooden cut-outs. This doubling adheres to the more classic Freudian notion of the uncanny, being a thing or event encountered in a psychologically unsettling context. The unsettling childhood narratives display private desires, passionate behaviours and domestic situations, first as photographic spectacles, and more recently as aesthetic objects in a gallery setting. The absurd child recognizes how objects, places, and thoughts become invested with both happiness and unhappiness. The project thus rejects good cheer and common sense to delight in the abject nature of point-and-shoot photography, reflecting another side of photography, in relation to today’s performative selfie culture.

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

Black onyx : Emotional responses to music and sounds

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-11-30
Abstract: 

Black Onyx is a musical concert work for flute, cello and piano with electronics. The piece has five sections of music and sounds targeting five human emotions: Anger, Sadness, Surprise, Contempt and Fear. Some sections are written in reference to memory and the practice of music therapy. The entire work is based on research of music psychology including the psychological Circumplex model developed by James A. Russell. The work invites the attention of the listener to the auditory world of mental illness and human sufferings to create atmospheres of negative emotional responses. By the end of the performance, the psychological atmosphere shifts to positivity. The five human emotions are the primary focus of this project, both in terms of induction and perception. The individual listening experiences, such as feelings of tension and calm are left to the listener.

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

Weather Pattern #6 The Funeral Pageant

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-10-02
Abstract: 

Weather Pattern #6: The Funeral Pageant was an outdoor, public procession that considered community and ecology as collaborators while contemplating themes of mortality and transformation. Taking place over a distance of 10.5 kilometres across Vancouver and Burnaby, the project was a carnivalesque procession that included large-scale puppets, kites, aeolian harps, and lanterns. Travelling through residential, industrial and forested areas, the procession involved a series of participatory events, all based around the journey of a ten foot tall puppet of a human figure as it walked into night. The procession ended in the dark of night with the puppet, whose body was disintegrating from the rain, being destroyed in a feast of noise, red wine and revelry.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
etd20005--ian-mcfarlane-Weather_pattern6_final_cuth264.mp4
Senior supervisor: 
Nicole Lewis
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Nobody. Unclenching the fist.

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-09-12
Abstract: 

Nobody. Unclenching the fist. is an assemblage of different media (photography and drawing) and materials (wood and soil). In this Frankenstein-esque architectural intervention, readings collide with materials, and actual geopolitical events collide with images of spectacularization.

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.

Books

Date created: 
2018-01-29
Abstract: 

Books, conceived and directed by Patrick Blenkarn, is a performance with and about books. Over 70min, four performers perform a series of tasks with books upon an empty stage. In the process, they sculpt an encounter of ideas and images: of chaos, of devotion, of exhaustion, of knowledge.

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

“Grey matter”: The challenge of maintaining harmonic consistency and thematic ambiguity in the age of artificial intelligence

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-05-28
Abstract: 

“Grey Matter”, a forty-two minute, 4-movement suite for string quartet and Disklavier (Yamaha’s automated piano), ambiguously explores themes of aging (and the body’s attendant neural/psychic deterioration and social alienation) in the age of automation, digital technology and artificial intelligence. Another thematic layer implies the following questions: will the roles of creative and performing artists become obsolete, like so many other professions are feared to become, with accelerating automation and artificial intelligence? Is technology bestowing upon us a utopian or dystopian future? Conceived with symmetrical harmonic processes, the work layers and juxtaposes sequentially diminishing harmonies (and diminishing performance personnel) with contrapuntal procedures. Alluding to a wide range of historical sources as disparate as Joseph Haydn, Robert Schumann, Béla Bartók, Charlie Chaplin, Kurt Vonnegut, Lee “Scratch” Perry and Spike Jonze, “Grey Matter” culminates with a collage of Bachian and Lisztian materials feeding back and reverberating through circular 4-channel electroacoustic diffusion.

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.

Re-tracing erasures

Author: 
Date created: 
2018-04-25
Abstract: 

"Waves" is a short narrative film with a duration of 14 minutes, shot on 16mm film. It shows a child and her young mother struggling to take care of one another in the small bedroom they share. Years later, the daughter returns to find solace in the embrace of a childhood friend. The "Installation of film footage and recorded sound" is a response to some of the questions raised through the making of the short film. Through it, I am reinterpreting the material recorded during the production of "Waves" beyond the restrictions of montage. Using broad strokes, I am looking to see where narrative falls apart and what survives its shattered logic.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Video documentation of the Installation of film footage and recorded sound, edited to highlight viewing angles and different ima
Senior supervisor: 
Simone Rapisarda
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.F.A.

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.