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

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Let it be as it is

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-09-14
Abstract: 

This work comprises a multi-media video installation that is the result of a process intended to understand and communicate in an embodied way, the self and place (site-sensitivity). Theory underlying these explorations includes ideas about the posthuman and collaboration formulated by Rosi Braidotti, Spinozist freedom, Vivian Sobchack’s notions of embodiment, and Philip Auslander’s theories of liveness and mediatization. I utilize my body and its capacity for improvised movement as an expressive medium, along with video making and installation, indirectly referencing the practices of artists such as Vito Acconci, Trisha Brown, and Andrea Zittel. These forms are realized methodologically by an engagement with physical trainings, urban dérive, and improvisation as practice which facilitates presence of focus and an engagement with the energies and affective intensities of the everyday.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Untitled 1
Untitled 2
Untitled 3
Untitled4
Senior supervisor: 
Jin-me Yoon
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Together () Apart

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-06-19
Abstract: 

Together () Apart explores social, physical and political notions of borders manifesting and being revealed through movement, somatic practices, social experiments, collaborative process and interdisciplinary performance making. The concept of border is investigated both as a subjective line of division and as a third space of encounter located inside the body, outside the body and in-between bodies. Informed by a series of workshops and laboratories between six dancers, two architects, a musician and a lighting designer, the practice-based research process of Together () Apart developed into a performance installation with seven performers and live one-on-one encounters. Designed after the concept of border as a space that can potentially both divide and unite, each performer occupies a separate space, intimately connecting them to each audience member. The format of one-on-one performance offers an opportunity to explore our connection to ‘an other’ and to negotiate the space in-between bodies.

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

Dance Work / Work Dance

Date created: 
2015-06-09
Abstract: 

DANCE WORK/WORK DANCE is an accumulative practice-based research into the becoming of dance in the art gallery. In collaboration with nine professional dancers, four art galleries and the non-profit arts platform Haunt, Emmalena Fredriksson experiments with modes of visual art as an entry-point for making and presenting dance. As a working method the group appropriates visual arts language, styles and viewing structures to undo dance. This ‘undoing’ creates a starting point for discourse and discovery as it invites alternative perspectives of dance as an art form, the act of performing and the gallery/exhibition space, for both dancer and viewer. Following one studio showing, two group exhibitions and one art gallery residency, this project culminated in a four-day exhibition at the Audain Gallery May 20th-24th, consisting of three solos and one duet danced by ten dancers on rotational shifts through out the opening hours of the gallery.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Time-lapse video of Dance Work / Work Dance
Audio recording of Dance Work / Work Dance the solo
Senior supervisor: 
Rob Kitsos
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

How is it that there is always something new?

Date created: 
2014-10-17
Abstract: 

In this project, landscape is understood in terms of process and the event. The time-based medium of video allows for an approach to landscape that recognizes multiple, layered temporalities: human, biological, geologic and atmospheric. Seen in these terms, landscape is not a static surface—not topographic or cartographic—but a vital process. In video works offering sustained attention to three different sites, ostensible landscape stillness is the theatre for the appearance of manifold events, both human and non-human. Duration (durée) as conceived by Bergson and Deleuze is discussed in terms of its relevance to the single camera shot. Throughout, the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead provides a theoretical support, specifically through his concepts of prehension and concrescence. These concepts open the door to an exploration of how the image-making characteristics of different cameras could be windows onto seeing the world in a new way, a less anthropocentric way.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Laura Marks
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Growth, Endlessness, Blocks

Date created: 
2014-09-15
Abstract: 

Growth, Endlessness, Blocks is a sculptural installation comprised of a series of wood structures of various scales. Large sections of drywall function as extensions of the gallery walls. Each structure balances a number of different physical characteristics that are tied to the act of making. Balance and presence combine in a disconcerting way giving the viewer a sense of uneasiness and a moment finely tuned by the artist. The artist seeks to embody the role of the factory fabricator as a means of exhausting the limits of the materials used and of emulating the role of the worker.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Elspeth Pratt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Thus Spoke Death and Transfiguration

Date created: 
2014-09-24
Abstract: 

Thus Spoke Death and Transfiguration is a multi-faceted art installation that employs the anomalous trope of embedding video monitors into sculptural objects. These sculptural objects include a hanging papier-mâché dolphin, a lectern, side tables, wood sculptures and encasings. The three embedded monitors feature the artist performing in various capacities: embodying various acts in the studio, on a mountain, in an airplane and also performing a remake of a lecture by the French philosopher Alain Badiou. The artist discovered the actions portrayed in video, and the objects, to be art. Appendix A is the research paper written in FPA 812 entitled Defamiliarizing Straight Forward Vision : Undercutting and Satire in the Artwork of Elodie Pong and Leila Pazooki. The paper provides some of the methodological and theoretical underpinnings of appropriation as an artistic tactic drawing on the Situationist International, Sven Lütticken and Jean-Luc Nancy to explore works by Elodie Pong and Leila Pazooki.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Nathaniel Wong, On Being Happy (Alain Badiou), Video, 7:58 minutes
Nathaniel Wong, You Took a Long Time up on the Mountain, Video, 15:32 minutes
Nathaniel Wong, I’m on a Plane, Video, 23:38 minutes
Senior supervisor: 
Judy Radul
Allyson Clay
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

When will my hands become roots?

Date created: 
2014-10-03
Abstract: 

When will my hands become roots? is a performance and installation motivated by the sense of displacement and desire to belong, which I draw from my own experience growing up in Brazil and then moving to Canada. The project is inspired by phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty's notion of body as chiasm (from the Greek letter chi “x” used to describe crossing over relations), which defines that body and world are intertwined by their common texture, the flesh. Following the idea of the chiasm, I cross over elements from both the performance stage and the art gallery into a project that combines my personal memories, cultural identity questions, and interdisciplinary interests. The outcome is a sensorial installation with performance elements and a performance with visual art elements.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Brief video documentation of the installation section of the project When will my hands become roots?
Excerpts from the performance section of the project When will my hands become roots?
Senior supervisor: 
Rob Kitsos
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology:
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Temporary Marriage

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2013-09-16
Abstract: 

My MFA thesis project titled Temporary Marriage includes nine paintings and four sculptures. The visual and conceptual signs of the divine power and legitimacy of Islamic religious Leaders are embedded in the architecture of religious monuments and Persian literature as a kind of visual and literary propaganda. I explore and analyze this power through depicting elements of Islamic culture and architecture in my paintings and sculptures as a means of metaphorically dealing with the central themes of Religion and History. In my sculptures I further point to the transmutation and deterioration of this power by altering the shape of domes and minarets, and using everyday materials such as metallic stickers to embellish their surfaces and destabilize meaning. Through applying multiple layers of paint and then scratching through its surface a sense of erosion and the symbolic passage of time and history resonates in my paintings.

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

On the Validity of Illusion (and its Attractions)

Date created: 
2014-09-26
Abstract: 

A material aesthetic practice of making objects, works on paper, and performance; a mystically tinged exploration of lived experience; and a path of theoretical research are synthesized through the co-ordinating “Now” of the camera lens. The resulting 31 minute, 2 channel video confronts a mystery. A spiritual teacher appears, internet-style, on a monitor and a contemporary artist runs aesthetic tests. These tests include the presentation of objects and colored materials and the staging of scenarios all within a system of reflective surfaces. Driven by fascination and a sense of play, the video shifts between the totality of illusion and the clues of its ruse. As with the techniques of trompe L’oeil, a gap opens between belief and knowledge—an open space of inquiry.

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

Save The Bay!

Author: 
Date created: 
2014-07-08
Abstract: 

Save The Bay! takes, as a catalyst, the gifting of 'Rupert's Land' by King Charles II of England to his cousin Prince Rupert (First Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company). Utilising Zizek's idea of 'overidentification' and elements of clown and trickster, the project comes to an antagonistic and skewed defence of the HBC legacy, using this stance to highlight the unspoken aspects of the company's 'Canadian-ness', the lasting damage caused by colonialism and the status of corporations in the 21st Century (which exploit a chameleonic, multi-faceted and unaccountable, identity as both entity and individual). The project encourages us to face up to our complicity as colonisers, foregrounding the inseparable ties between capitalism and imperialism and asserting that for any kind of true 'reconciliation' to occur in North America we, as settlers, first have to be willing to shoulder the responsibility of the wrong doing for which we are making amends.

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