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

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The Spectral Piano Project

Date created: 
2013-04-05
Abstract: 

The Spectral Piano project consists of two parts: the conception, design and physical creation of the Spectral Piano as an instrument, and the composition of a suite of music for it. An apparatus was created to allow direct electromagnetic excitation of 24 strings, producing very different timbres and dynamic envelopes than the conventional hammer driven piano string offers. The spectral piano may simultaneously and uniquely address any spectral component of each excited string. The ability to bend pitch, shimmer, pulse, and simultaneously create multiple pitches and timbres is possible. For the performance, music was composed which contrasts conventional piano with spectral piano in works compositionally linked in a variety of ways.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Verbal Performance Introduction
Into the Light, for conventional piano, performed by Andrew Czink
Into the Night, for spectral piano, performed by Doug Blackley
Running on Faith, for conventional piano, performed by Nancy Tam
Spectralis, for spectral piano and conventional piano, performed by Doug Blackley and Andrew Czink
Aurora, for spectral piano, performed by Doug Blackley and Andrew Czink
Midnight, for spectral piano, performed by Doug Blackley
Return, for spectral piano and conventional piano, performed by Doug Blackley and Andrew Czink
Concert applause and ending
Senior supervisor: 
Owen Underhill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

Inviting the other in: Porous thinking and dissolving borders in "Tropical spirit: biography of a jasmine garden"

Author: 
Date created: 
2011-11-25
Abstract: 

"Tropical Spirit: Biography of a Jasmine Garden" is a site-specific performance piece I developed as my final M.F.A Project. This paper outlines a chronology of the making of the piece in addition to presenting critical frameworks through which the project can be analyzed and situated in relation to contemporary aesthetics. I use critical frameworks borrowed from a variety of sources. Recent research done on borders by Performance Studies scholars Ramon Rivera-Servera and Harvey Young provide the basis for the analysis in this paper. In addition, anthropologist and cultural theorist Michael Taussig’s treatise on colour as well as recent research done by Emilie Conrad and Susan Harper in the field of Somatics help articulate somatic strategies at work in the piece. Using frameworks from heterogenous sources, this paper attempts to provide an interdisciplinary analysis of the piece which can be understood as a highly layered theatricalization of borders.

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

Writing about Six Sounds Works

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis is the written component of the multipart installation work, Six Sound Works. Like the work it accompanies and elaborates, not supplants, this thesis explores a number of interrelated themes, establishing a criss-crossing constellation of overlapping associations-more an accumulation of running questions than a compendium of finished answers. Themes explored include the use of art in terms of research-based expository analysis in the definition and investigation of a problematic; the critical, exploratory and methodological possibilities of Hal Foster's notion of the archive; the "mysteries" of sound and hearing and Jacques Lacan's notion of the real; the aesthetics, conceptual preoccupations and multiplex consequences of Minimalism in art production and music; and ghosts, audible or otherwise.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

The Pearl

Author: 
Date created: 
2004
Abstract: 

The Pearl is an interactive, multi-linear video installation that explores how narrative content and information are conveyed, how meaning is negotiated among author, content and viewer, and how the subjective nature of truth can be manipulated by media. In this work, projected as a 12' x 9' image on a gallery wall, twelve actors perform the same monologue. The footage has been edited utilizing midi and video sequencing technology into segments that either default to randomized playback, or are triggered by the viewer via the user interface. The monologue is addressed directly to the viewer, traverses much emotional terrain, and implies an existing relationship. Construction and deconstruction of the monologue's meaning via the randomized playback and viewer control create shifting perspectives of the content. This paper serves as documentation of The Pearl's origin, production, and exhibition, and endeavours to contextualize the work within select interactive narrative research, theory and academic framework.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

Versions 1,2,3

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Versions 1,2,3 is a video installation that examines the relationship between performativity and the lens, in the staging and re-framing of mediated events. The work begins with improvisations by two people sited in front of a camera. Then, using the documentation obtained from these improvisations as a starting point their singular moments are retraced theatrically, using actors, objects, props and a minimal set. This theatrical production gets remediated back onto video. Taken as a whole, the work examines the unfolding of performatives, the self-consciousness that arises when in view of a camera, and the creative forces that emerge in the face of uncertainty. The project ultimately addresses the possibilities that abound in the reiteration of events, and their potentiation through difference.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

Chronometric media: dream, film and creativity in the digital age

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

This paper represents the written component of my MFA graduating project, and was written to accompany a multi-media projection, screened at VIVO studios on July 20th, 2009. The project, entitled Dreamtime Jetztzeit, explores how mass media forms and technological change alter the collective and individual experience of time and space, and how these types of spatiotemporal changes can affect the way we experience the world. Focussing on the transition from analog to digital as a unique and transitory place from which to take stock, Dreamtime Jetztzeit traces a series of constructed binaries - film/old versus digital/new, film/dream versus digital/awake - and combines the political history of mass media change with sociological concerns and cognitive theory. Produced from the point of view of a practicing media artist, Dreamtime Jetztzeit uses both old and new technologies to explore the social and political implications of media change.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

Form faces out

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

The cinema presents us with the perpetual “becoming” of the movement-image. But, according to Giorgio Agamben, our relationship to the image is characterized by a desire to “capture,” inhibiting our ability to see images this way. Understood as an act of framing, this capture (a drive toward the inside of image), manifests in our acts of looking. Engaging the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze on cinema, Form Faces Out considers the concept of the out-of-field– that which relates the “captured” part to the Open whole. Through reflections on the thesis project The Here To Gathered and other works of art shown recently in Vancouver, the out-of-field is seen to destabilize the frame, making possible a form of futurity that has no known characteristics other than that it is “to come.” This form of futurity opens images up to the meaning of circulation– the sharing of being.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
J
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

HWY 99: creating a Canadian cinematic realism in the place of industrial transformation

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

The Sea to Sky Corridor, a seventy-kilometre stretch of highway north of Vancouver, is changing irrevocably. Globalization is in the process of transforming an industrial resource economy into a recreational profit-centre. Three projects were undertaken to examine this transformation: Woodfibre, an installation about a recently decommissioned pulp mill in Howe Sound; Haiphong, a series of photographs addressing the transformation of Canadian raw materials in Vietnam; and HWY 99, my graduating film, which examines a transitional moment in the life of a paramedic employed by a multinational highway construction firm currently developing the Corridor. Each of these artworks is a response to the human cost of globalization in a small British Columbia community far from corporate boardrooms. Viewed as a triptych, these works address the question of how to represent the ubiquity of globalization in relation to personal experience.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
C
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

Fighting myopia: from writer/performer to writer/director in Free Range and Palms Down Like a Rainbow

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

This document examines the processes used in the creation of my first year project Free Range – a solo theatre piece I wrote and performed – and my thesis project Palms Down Like a Rainbow: A Folktale Eulogy – a multi-character piece I wrote and directed. The discussion of Free Range investigates strategies for writing as a performer, engaging in improvisations with a director and a musician. The discussion on Palms Down Like a Rainbow focuses on writing with a director's sensibility, using creation sessions with an ensemble of performers improvising around a source. The challenges of shifting from writer/performer to writer/director invite questions about the playwright's authority, and the line between an open and closed text. This exploration of collaboration, decision-making, values and praxis, leads to a personal understanding of the relationship between process and product.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
D
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)

sound.garden.scape: Gastown, a virtual soundwalk

Date created: 
2008
Abstract: 

As the urban soundscape gets louder, many listeners are exchanging their acoustic soundscape for an electro-acoustic one. This sonic mediation is made mobile through the use of personal portable audio (ppa) devices such as the iPod. This project seeks to understand where technology connects the natural and the virtual using the tradition of soundwalking. sound.garden.scape: Gastown, used ppa devices to create an interactive immersive aural environment that re-presented Vancouver's Gastown area. Using compositional methods and the dedicated attention to listening found in soundwalking practice, the project functioned as a virtual soundwalk, allowing listeners to move through space and time reacting and interacting with an aural space completely separate from the installation venue. Within this installation listeners used their ppa devices actively to seek out and listen to the same urban noise they normally use ppa to block out.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
B
Department: 
School for the Contemporary Arts - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Project (M.F.A.)