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

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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.

vorbei

Date created: 
2017-04-13
Abstract: 

vorbei is a program designed to generate a unique and complete piece of music every time it is run, and to do so with no external interaction. Each piece created by vorbei begins with the generation of a series of millisecond values known as a gesture, which provides the seed for all subsequent data and sound. Throughout a given run of the program, in order to reinforce emerging trends and encourage movement towards coherent structures, generated data is stored and analyzed to create probabilities that determine its later use. As such, individual runs of vorbei can be understood as a series of variations generated from increasingly extended derivations of the initial gesture.

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.

Situations

Date created: 
2016-10-14
Abstract: 

Situations is a short film that explores what it means to be human in an increasingly abstract world. The film draws on ideas from the French existentialists’ notion of universal human freedom, and places this freedom in a cold and empty contemporary postmodern world inspired by recent scholarship. Aesthetically, Situations builds on a visual style appropriated from an analysis of the similarities between Japanese and Scandinavian cinema – the film attempts to tell the story through long takes and wide shots, where the characters are observed in their situations rather than followed by narrative decisions.

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

Between Two Rocks

Date created: 
2016-10-28
Abstract: 

Between Two Rocks is a stage performance inspired by the Norse folktale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. A cast of five performers animates scenic space with movement, words, and large piles of sheep fleece as they extract, flip, and spin an ever-expanding horizon. The encounter between traditional handcraft and live performance, written story and oral telling, human and animal merge in a visual, sensory experience that emphasizes the physical and imaginary edges of the proscenium stage space. The work draws ideas from postdramatic theatre and theories of landscape on stage. Between Two Rocks is at times a concert of objects, at others a fleecy dance, occasionally a display of traditional labour, yet ultimately a weaving of theatrical elements in a physical animation of space.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Appendix C: Video Documentation, Between Two Rocks Trailer
Appendix C: Video Documentation, Between Two Rocks Full Show Documentation
Senior supervisor: 
Ker Wells
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

A brightness – a signal – a sign (the light explored and questioned everything) ((Tlattic in xochitl in cuicatl))

Date created: 
2016-09-28
Abstract: 

A brightness – a signal – a sign (the light explored and questioned everything) ((tlattic in xochitl in cuicatl)) is a project that begins with a process of walking throughout Vancouver, finding objects, walking with the objects, then constructing sculptures collaboratively with them. This is done while considering the possibility for quantum entanglement between the human and non-human, and forming a bond between the human body, the sites where the objects are found, and the found objects themselves. This labour is driven by the experience of being an immigrant living within a diaspora and is a performative means for creating a dynamic and reciprocal relationship with the Land of Vancouver.

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

The cities, they tremble

Author: 
Date created: 
2016-10-21
Abstract: 

'The cities, they tremble' traces the connections between place, identity and sound, through an examination of resonance and vibration in everyday life. When speaking of our sounding environments, the distinction between the body and its environment becomes blurred - our bodies literally resonate with our surroundings through the vibration of sound. Informed by a practice in active listening and improvisation, 'The cities, they tremble' is an attempt to reveal the hidden processes that surround and influence us, as well as the ways in which our individual notions of place and identity are shaped and mediated through these sounds.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Short video documentation of sound installation 'Inanimate dialogue'
Short video documentation of sound installation 'Every space is constantly trembling'
Short video documentation of sound installation 'Listening to the sea from at least twelve points of hearing'
Senior supervisor: 
Martin Gotfrit
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Sugar's Waste

Date created: 
2016-11-08
Abstract: 

Sugar’s Waste is an experimental, theatrical music performance, one hour in duration. The work features songs, experimental choral work, and atmospheric instrumental pieces. The scores are created by hand, using a combination of traditional, durational, graphic and indeterminate notation. The core ensemble is a string quintet that doubles as a vocal chorus; some pieces feature further additions, such as live digital processing, electric guitar, piano and hand-held tape recorders. Short poetry readings are scattered throughout. Sugar’s Waste is related to 20th and 21st Century non-narrative, post-operatic practices, as well as popular music formats such as conceptually-integrated recorded albums. The songs and scores were written concurrently with a series of poetic texts that address themes of partition, enclosure and resistance in the historical and imaginary ‘range’ of early post-contact North America. These themes inspired the staging, set and sound design of the work.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Appendix A. Audio recording of Sugar’s Waste (Night Two, October 6th and 7th 2016).
Appendix A. 1. Audio recording of Cassette Loop Ooh + Transport Truck
Appendix A. 2. Audio Recording of Nora, listening
Appendix A. 3. Audio Recording of No Place in the Sun
Appendix A. 4. Audio recording of Ring Oscillator
Appendix A. 5. Audio Recording of The Heard Surrounds
Appendix A. 6. Audio recording of Thickets
Appendix A. 7. Audio Recording of Ponies under Darkness.
Senior supervisor: 
Owen Underhill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.