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

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Taking Up Positions: Embodied Theories and Time-Based Participatory Practices

Date created: 
2013-08-30
Abstract: 

Taking Up Positions attempts to resolve, or propose possible solutions to, a range of questions common to time-based and participatory art practices concerning exhibition making, power, authorship and definitions, as well as their implications within a contemporary politics of protestation and image creation. This work is based on two distinct workshops which were facilitated leading up to this exhibition. These workshops were experiments in the embodiment of theory. Axis of Agency involved trained dancers exploring a theory of political agency mapped onto the floor in a Cartesian graph. This graph functioned dually as a visual guide to a theory and as a piece of choreography. The Contingent Sculpture Workshop was a series of workshops held over several months which engaged a material practice of student activism through the lens of artistic theory. They considered how protest creates images and what artists can contribute to a theorization of that process.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Sabine Bitter
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.F.A.

Queering Islamic Aesthetics: Embodied Aesthetics and Queer Phenomenology

Date created: 
2013-09-04
Abstract: 

This work explores the collision of two seemingly disparate interests: the notion of queering, and Islamic Aesthetics. By critically engaging tropes from Islamic aesthetics and culture (i.e. architectural geometry, crocheting, carpets, and the Ezan – the Islamic call to prayer), and combining these with abstracted and figurative representations of the body, the work produced for this MFA thesis suggests the forbidden nature of queer desire and its relationship to Islamic culture and spirituality. Employing video installation, sound, drawing, painting, Ebru and sculpture, Queering Islamic Aesthetics attempts to capture the complex and nuanced negotiations involved in the embodied experience of transcultural queerness.

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

My Breath, My Gravity: My Anishinabe Indexical Opens, Pops and Riffs

Date created: 
2013-09-16
Abstract: 

The paintings in this installation are presented in four distinct groupings. Five large works are hung low on the wall; a stack of paintings on paper are placed on a table as a hands-on viewer friendly archive; smaller works on canvas are stored in a small structure that suggests both a cedar house and a storage rack; and lastly three small works on canvas lean against the wall near the cedar house. In these works I explore how First Nations subjectivity can inhabit painting as an index of my presence inscribed through repetitive vertical lines I call “opens,” “pops,” and “riffs.” For me, vertical lines, repeating gesture and luminous colour contrasts indicate First Nations presence, memory and connections to the greater social world.

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.

Holographic universe

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-09-12
Abstract: 

Holographic Universe is a multi-faceted sculptural installation that questions themes of monumentality, importance, and permanence with an emphasis on subjectivity as a tool for creative action. Composed of vinyl, resin, lacquer, and plaster, the works share physical properties of transparency, reflectivity, glittering surfaces, and subtle colours. This installation is meant to produce an otherworldly environment whose mesmerizing perceptual experiences and visual uncertainty encourage the viewer to question the learned frameworks through which one might view and create art. This work was inspired by Nietzsche’s conception of the unconscious as a component of artistic thinking as well as the possibility of agency through creative action, as described in Deleuze’s “Nietzsche and Philosophy”. The sculptures were exhibited in the Audain Gallery, Vancouver BC, from September 11 to September 21, 2013.

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

Some hallways lead to other hallways and some lead to dead ends

Author: 
Date created: 
2013-06-06
Abstract: 

Some Hallways Lead To Other Hallways And Some Lead To Dead Ends is a one-hour long synchronized audio tour for ten people. Listening to their assigned tracks played through headphones, the audience is mobilized through the SFU Woodward’s building. The aural content is comprised of choreographic instructions and my personal stories as a third culture kid in finding home. Appendix A is a research paper written for FPA 812, where I examine Henri Lefebvre’s ideas of space and how these ideas are present within the work visual artist Janet Cardiff and soundscape composer Hildegard Westerkamp.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
1: Wait
2: Sign
3: Run
4: Retrace
5: Remember You
6: Remember Me
7: Out Front
8: Out Back
9: Listen
10: Here
Clip 1: Lasping Time
Clip 2: Strategy
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Hill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.

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.)