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

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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.)

Moving through time

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

A phenomenological adoption of lived experience acts as a touchstone for my graduate project titled through and this supporting document. through is a contemporary dance work, performed by two dancers with original music, video, and animation.

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

Returns

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Returns is an episodic performance piece, consisting of music, storytelling, and video segments. Weaving together a wide variety of elements, the work explores complexity as a strategy for expression. Stories from the artist’s family - successive generations of Finns immigrating temporarily to Canada, from the 1920s to the present day - form the through-line for the piece, in the form of monologues, home movies, and a lecture. The notion of time as a layered place is explored, by using material from a span of decades, and by discussing theories concerning the permanence of sounds. The stories that are told have decades-wide gaps between them, and in these gaps runs a parallel musical journey, tracing ‘Finnishness’ through folk music, tango, and contemporary influences. Compositional strategies from through-composed to free improvisation are employed.

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

Chewing chewing chewing social space

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

for the shy is a multimedia installation based on a partially built, partially dismantled re-creation of the artist’s kitchen. It examines the desire to understand care and decay in social space, and to reckon with shared agency: given that sociality always occurs between agents, how can one locate an individual ethic of care? The paper begins by examining theories of sociality and interconnectivity based on eating. It examines sculptural action as “chewing” social space – as separating desire-as-lack (Lacan) from desiring-production (Deleuze and Guattari), and separating the “thing-ness” from the “sign-ness” of objects (Peirce). It considers the work within the contexts of architectural ornamentation and immersive installation art, and finally explores the problematic of communicating about the non-communicative state of shyness. The work locates care as an intermediary force between creation and destruction of subjectivities and social structures, both breaking and maintaining the bonds of socialization.

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

What the muck: Agitating boundaries in performance

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This text serves as an accompanying document to the performance work Muck, first produced on May 10th, 2007. Muck is both a performance and an installation. Performed by four actors and a pianist, the work runs in a loop, and alternates between a series of gestures and songs. The first performance was set in a small black room within a larger white gallery space; the spectators entered and left the performance space as they desired. The purpose of this document is to examine the production of Muck as it relates to both performance art and theatre. It proceeds to define Muck (and my broader practice) not by the distinctions put upon performance art and theatre but rather by the proximity and relationship of the audience to the work. By destabilizing expected structures of viewer/performance interaction my work attempts to activate the threshold between the two.

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

Autobiography and self-portrait as resistive form in queer moving-image

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This paper accompanies a multiple projection moving-image. It examines the subversive representations of unfixed queer identity in DIY (do-it-yourself) autobiography and self-portrait. In the fictional telling of a fairy who leaves home to find others like herself, the narrative references journey myths from popular culture, religion, literature, and theatre. A post-modern pastiche that plays between reality and fantasy, the artist uses herself as subject and her body as object to represent the multiple personalities existing in one queer changing body. The form is an experiment in mutable cinema – one that moves between parodying mainstream narrative, drawing from expanded cinema, video art, handmade filmmaking and animation – to create a queer changing art form. The paper discusses how self-representation, -production, and -distribution gives queer feminist women the agency as resistive subjects to create personal myths of an unfixed, denormalized, identity.

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

Sensuous machines: embodied mechanics of cinematic performances

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This essay will chart a geography of machines, bodies, and memories that is broad and far-reaching. The reader will travel through this terrain along a single winding path, via the tracks of film machines and dance machines (human bodies), taking extra time to pause, breathe, and reflect where the two intersect. A description of sensuous geographies as mediated through engagement with anachronistic machines (such as trains and film equipment) will prepare the reader for a journey in which the human body becomes implicated and integrated with the mechanical body. The impact of the machine on the body of the operator leaves traces that trigger memories; the human body itself becomes a machine in performance that excites memories in both the performer and the viewer. Our journey ends with the ephemeral and fleeting nature of these machines and media that are preserved in the transparence of our senses and memories.

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

Have you ever wanted to change?

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

'A person decides that there is something about themselves that they would like to change'. This is the primary problematic of this project. What motivates self-development? What makes it seem an imperative? How is it enacted? To address these questions, the project incorporates the work of artists who impose a regime on their daily life as an art practice. Loosely framed as 'durational performance', these artists create a set of limits or tasks that must be carried out through a disciplinary regime of some kind. The project argues that these practices mark a critical engagement with the notion of self-development within the context of neo-liberal individualism. Three forms of research are employed: written essays, interviews with artists who carry out these projects, and a series of self-imposed regimes documented through video, contracts and photography.

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

kanashibari, shadow archive

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

kanashibari, shadow archive is an interactive website and a sculptural, drawing and light installation that examines the impossibilities and possibilities that exist within articulating and archiving traumatic, collective and personal memories. Both works echo already existing contemporary forms of the archive and the memorial as a means to understand and question the absences within "history." Each form examines our desires to replace the absences of history with manifestations of material culture. Both projects are equally important components and thus mutually interdependent. Online viewers who visit the virtual "archive" activate the installation by triggering a small light. The illuminated drawings appear from the darkness as a 'trace' of what is barely invisible and constantly disappearing within the attempts to articulate the memory of historical traumatic events. The website continues to exist on the web, while the installation's temporal and spatial manifestation is now a 'memory' for audiences who experienced the work.

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