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

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Flatness and Non-Immersion

Date created: 
2016-09-09
Abstract: 

Real and virtual experience combine to produce personal narratives. Personal narratives move through spaces and bodies. Flatness, a devised spoken-word piece with electronic soundscape accompaniment, saw its performer/devisers, Matt Horrigan and Julia Siedlanowska, break accounts of their homes and selves into scattered anecdotes, creating a non-teleological storytelling structure which greeted its audience as a performance installation. A diary of moments, an exploration of generative media, and a farewell to fantasy videogamescapes, Flatness attempted to create a world of meaningful objects that refused co-operation with perspective, aiming instead to function as a voluntarily-explored, non-immersive, medium.

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

XXXX TOPOGRAPHY

Date created: 
2016-03-15
Abstract: 

Each night, somewhere in this vast cosmos, Beta Pink’s Space Bar snaps into existence, formed by the telepathic world-making of an assemblage. The bar lasts only as long as the assemblage speaks it into being, closing each night as puzzlingly as it opened. For two nights in 2016, Pink’s Bar materialized in the dismal school halls of a university you’ve probably heard of. There, a spongy yet seductive encounter between humans, things, and others oscillated, pillows told melancholy stories of loves lost, and fans orchestrated an endless hair toss. XXXX TOPOGRAPHY (pronounced “sexy sexy sexy sexy topography”) is a work of Imaginary Theatre by The Party (interdisciplinary artists Kyla Gardiner and Layla Marcelle Mrozowski) that flirts with the radical otherness prowling somewhere between you and not you. The Party’s distinctive genre, Imaginary Theatre, inhabits a landscape slightly left of science fiction and parallel to magical realism, its surface a fanciful stratum of the possible and the improbable.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
A promotional video for The Party's work.
Party member Jaime Williams responds to XXXX Topography.
Suzy's favourite parts of Part 1: The Assemblage.
Senior supervisor: 
Ker Wells
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

XXXX TOPOGRAPHY

Date created: 
2016-03-15
Abstract: 

Each night, somewhere in this vast cosmos, Beta Pink’s Space Bar snaps into existence, formed by the telepathic world-making of an assemblage. The bar lasts only as long as the assemblage speaks it into being, closing each night as puzzlingly as it opened. For two nights in 2016, Pink’s Bar materialized in the dismal school halls of a university you’ve probably heard of. There, a spongy yet seductive encounter between humans, things, and others oscillated, pillows told melancholy stories of loves lost, and fans orchestrated an endless hair toss. XXXX TOPOGRAPHY (pronounced “sexy sexy sexy sexy topography”) is a work of Imaginary Theatre by The Party (interdisciplinary artists Kyla Gardiner and Layla Marcelle Mrozowski) that flirts with the radical otherness prowling somewhere between you and not you. The Party’s distinctive genre, Imaginary Theatre, inhabits a landscape slightly left of science fiction and parallel to magical realism, its surface a fanciful stratum of the possible and the improbable.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
A promotional video for The Party's work.
Party member Jaime Williams responds to XXXX Topography.
Suzy's favourite parts of Part 1: The Assemblage.
Senior supervisor: 
Henry Daniel
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Klasika

Date created: 
2015-12-09
Abstract: 

Over the last one hundred years, thousands of Czechs participated in an informal counterculture movement called tramping. Drawing inspiration from fantasies of the Wild West, Czech tramping adapts and appropriates the clothing, cultural practices and geographic signifiers of the American frontier. Although its participants have traditionally identified themselves as apolitical, recent Czech scholarship has examined how seemingly individual acts of ‘escapism’ can amalgamate into a politics of resistance. Klasika explored the utopian possibilities of Czech tramping alongside the work of Oskar Negt and Alexander Kluge, with a special focus on their notion of the ‘real’ public sphere. The project spanned a year and a half and culminated in a live performance event blending musical theatre, popular song and creative non-fiction\documentary forms. Over thirty artists working in music, theatre, film and visual arts contributed work for both the live performance and a series of events and artworks inspired by project themes.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video Documentation of Klasika, Live performance Oct. 30, 2015
Senior supervisor: 
Christopher Pavsek
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

As far upriver as you can go before having to switch to a pole

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-09-28
Abstract: 

The Anthropocene is the proposed current geological epoch in which the earth’s climate is affected by human influence. Nature was the standard in which species evolved, and now nature must adapt to conditions created by one of its byproducts. Centred on a 16mm film installation of footage shot on location in Chilliwack, the various forms of the anthropogenically-altered landscape are represented within this project to build a discourse between the perception of what is natural and what is naturalized. This project is presented as a document of the “super unnatural,” a term proposed by the artist to refer to the hidden anthropogenic influence within the naturalized landscape as a method to question what qualifies as the unnatural in nature. Chilliwack, as a site of agricultural production on the periphery of urban expansion, embodies the super unnatural.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
As far upriver as you can go before having to switch to a pole (16mm anamorphic film projection, silent)
Senior supervisor: 
Sabine Bitter
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Points de vue

Author: 
Date created: 
2015-12-04
Abstract: 

Points de vue is an interdisciplinary performance integrating solo dance improvisation with contextual and processual information about the activity which is unfolding. The center of this research-creation project is a question: What happens when I improvise? Investigating the question reveals a deep synergy between multiple and complementary modes of inquiry: theoretical reflections, stimulating the development of methodologies, enacted through practices over extended periods of time. These are co-dependent processes, mutually enriching each other through recursive and iterative cycles of inquiry. Improvisation is contextualized through phenomenological accounts, contemporary ideas from the embodied cognition paradigm, and an examination of somatic techniques. The practice is then articulated in the performance through a multiplicity of appearances: experienced through sight, sound, kinaesthetic empathy, words and concepts. Far from contradictory, these multiple points of view contribute to a kind of experiential synesthesia, leading to a richer appreciation of the phenomenon as a whole.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
First video excerpt from the Sat Nov 28 performance of Points de vue.
Second video excerpt from the Sat Nov 28 performance of Points de vue.
Third video excerpt from the Sat Nov 28 performance of Points de vue.
Stereo downmix of the eight channel composition used in Points de vue.
Senior supervisor: 
Arne Eigenfeldt
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

The Builders

Date created: 
2015-10-06
Abstract: 

Created through a multidisciplinary theatrical devising process inspired by the worldwide phenomenon of art environments, The Builders is an immersive performance blending theatre and installation. Bringing together an ensemble of theatre artists, dancers and a musician, The Builders investigates transformation, territory and the practice of making oneself at home in the world. The performance immerses the audience in an extraordinary space inhabited by the builders, each one engaged in a relentless effort to transform their surroundings. As they work, they reveal their stories and their processes, reflected in their singular territories, each of which frames a chaotic assemblage of research, improvisation, personal mythologies and desires. Over five months of practice-based research informed by performance, art environments, and installation, the ensemble and I investigated the transformations of space, materials, and identities that occur within devising and the making of art environments. This document serves to outline my research and my devising strategies as the director of the work, and examines the challenges and outcomes of The Builders meeting a live audience.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Two-minute video trailer for The Builders, created & directed by Megan Stewart.
Moving time-lapse video of The Builders shot during the dress rehearsal.
Senior supervisor: 
Ker Wells
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Domesticating Monsters

Date created: 
2015-10-08
Abstract: 

My artistic and academic research has been examining how society displays what our dominant culture seeks to repress or even sanitize. ‘What is normal?’ and the reverse, ‘what is abnormal?’ have been recurring questions sparked by my fascination with the borderline areas beyond socialized identity. I am drawn to the confused boundaries that overthrow certain claims about identity. I question how one allocates identity when dealing with the perception of eccentricity as well as the absurd, the grotesque, the uncanny and the bizarre?This cumulative research process has resulted in the creation of two final works that comprise my graduating project, Domesticating Monsters. Both pieces are interconnected through their underlying themes and the overarching research process; both propose questions about identity and social behavior exposed by body language and speech. One is an audio-visual installation presented across 3 screens creating multiple viewpoints, alternately supported or juxtaposed by an original sound collage, the other is a staged live performance made up of a cast of 6 interdisciplinary performers that evolves from the installation.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Domesticating Monsters; temporary promo vid.
Domesticating Monsters; full length, long shot, compressed.
Senior supervisor: 
Rob Kitsos
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

A single rope, tossed over a high, sturdy branch

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2015-09-23
Abstract: 

A single rope, tossed over a high, sturdy branch refers to a basic description of bear bagging, a practice of placing items attractive to a bear—such as food, scented products, or perishables—into a bag that is raised into the air using a rope—out of the reach of a bear. The exhibition continues my ongoing investigation into the thingness of found objects and considers the inarticulable energies they can convey. If I know it is there–even without caption–will it remain, and can audiences perceive it? This question has been assisted by the bag works in the exhibition, held in suspension through formal strategy and concealment of their contents. The works demonstrate potentiality, activating as transitive paintings that attempt to convey social energies to the viewer in a layered approach, through internal and external passages.

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.

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.