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

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Machine languages: The digitization of the social

Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Machine Languages is an interdisciplinary project encompassing work in computer music, dance and digital video, and featuring an immersive eight-channel loudspeaker configuration, video projection and live performance. The five pieces that make up the project call upon conventions of soundscape composition and "glitch" computer music to both highlight their own technological constructedness and refer to a broader, real-world context. Referring to spaces as diverse as Latvia, Turkey and Burnaby Mountain, and relating to a broad range of technologies including the human body and the new digital machines of war, Machine Languages aims for a critical engagement with technology as well as the configuration of a new "spatial politics" which honours the specificity of particular soundscapes while attempting to avoid exoticism and nostalgia. This project proceeds from the premise that if digital technology plays an increasingly important role in the social and cultural practices of our digitized and networked globality, then these five works can offer an alternative not only to the abstraction and homogenization of space in late capitalist modernity, but also to the technological triumphalism which prevails in "Information Technology" marketing rhetoric as well as in much 'new media" and digital culture in general.

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

Les mots dits: Diasporic identity and representation in text based audio art

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

Les Mots Dits is both an experimental audio documentary and an essay. The essay portion explores ideas surrounding identity and representation within diasporic cultures, examined through the lens of text-based audio art and popular music. Ideas explored include a look at the hermeneutics of musicltext, "significance" within speech, and text and representation within diasporic and hybrid culture. The companion audio work is comprised of narrative text and allegorical soundscapes. The text is derived from interviews with the author and his grandparents, the soundscapes from recordings made by the author in Europe during the summer of 2004. An appendix included in the essay provides a detailed timeline of the piece with commentary by the authorlcomposer. Both the essay and the composition are submitted in partial completion of the MFA programme at the School for the Contemporary Arts at SFU.

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

March to May

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

March to May is a photographic exploration of spatial and temporal dislocations evident in television coverage of the official Iraq War - March 2oth 2003, when the bombing of Baghdad commenced, to the May 1 St declaration of victory by George Bush. Sourced from a viewing of over two hundred hours of archived television footage, each photographic image manifests as a durational record of approximately five seconds of selected real-time video segments of the televisual event. The extended exposures lend themselves to visual abstraction and, by extension, to political obhscation - a purposehl disavowal whose intent is the denial of a place of purchase. This piece works within the interstitial of space and time. It lies between the real-space of war, with human bodies, machines and geography, and the dematerialization of those elements into the televisual spectacle - between the real-time of war and the hyperfluidity of satellite transmission.

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

Hugs kisses tongues : 'heterotopic normal' in critical practice

Author: 
Date created: 
1992
Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
Theses (School for Contemporary Arts : Special Arrangements) / Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Optics out of shadows: creating a photographic history from conté sketches

Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

Mary is a seven-minute animation based on my grandmother Mary, who died before I was born. The video integrates 16mm film, digital still images and digital video to represent the version of Mary’s life I imagined as a nine year-old. This thesis explores the video as a conversation between my childhood version of Mary and my adult reflections on that fabulation. I contextualize my video through my personal history, art practice and research. I investigate theories that explore the nature of invention, including Gilles Deleuze’s fabulation and Laura Mulvey’s usage of the term delay. Giorgio Agamben’s articulation of the lacuna and its relationship to the unspeakable helped me understand the creative choices I made in the video. I discovered that my childhood version still carries a powerful emotional charge and that the structural parallels between Mary’s life and my own are shaped by events no language can contain or comprehend.

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

Gramma: towards an autoethnography

Author: 
Date created: 
2007
Abstract: 

This thesis – the documentation for my graduate project, Gramma – records and discusses the artistic choices in the creative process of writing and performing. Although often simultaneous, the creative development is artificially divided into two chapters for coherence. Chapter One articulates the development of the script in the trajectory of autobiographic writing. The chapter explains how life experience and memory serve as material for a creative writing, and records experiments in the construction of the play structure. Chapter Two describes the making of a theatre production in the light of intercultural theatre – including integration of cultures and hybridization of aesthetics. The thesis examines the combination of writing and performing theatre as an autoethnography, and concludes with the direction of my future research and artistic practice.

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

Generation X - The Opera

Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This text serves as the accompanying documentation to Generation X – The Opera, a contemporary spoken word adaptation of the novel by Canadian author Douglas Coupland. The fundamental direction of this research is the exploration of new directions in contemporary North American opera, melodrama, spoken word and musical theatre, through our shared linguistic, musical and cultural vernacular. This paper begins by establishing a theoretical foundation between language and music, and then moves toward the historical trajectory of the use of spoken word in a musical context. It proceeds to present an analysis of the cultural significance of Generation X, as both an age demographic and as a postmodern identity. The documentation concludes with an overview of the project, from its inception through to its premiere performance on March 17th, 2006.

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

Kut: Materials towards an interdisciplinary performance reflecting the encounter of Christianity and Buddhism in contemporary Korea

Author: 
Date created: 
2006
Abstract: 

This paper includes the performance script and an extended commentary upon an interdisciplinary performance by writer-performer Michael Springate, developed in collaboration with Nathan Hesselink (cello and Korean percussion), Maki Nagisa (dancer-actor), Carolyn Combs (videographer), Ron Stewart (movement) and Kee Kook-seo (director). The performance, structured as a sonata, has four movements. The relationships between these individual movements and contemporary history are clarified, as are the influences of traditional Korean performance structures, in particular the p'ansori and the kut. Differing conceptions of self, reality and performance are defined and contrasted, and the effect of American Foreign Policy on those conceptions is also explored.

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

Monitoring [A Doll's House]

Date created: 
2012-11-26
Abstract: 

Monitoring [A Doll’s House] is a performance-installation that sits somewhere between theatre and visual art. The project consists of three scheduled theatrical performances (based on Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House) and an installation with performances transmitted through Skype. It testifies to a continued interest in notions of distance and privacy as well as everyday surveillance. As defined in the context of my research on presence in theater performances, it investigated the interrelation between presence and absence, by exploring the distances that exist between various elements of the performance: the distances between the actors and their characters, the actors and the audience and the 'time of the play' and the 'time of the performance'. Using Gilbert Simmondon’s idea of individuation and milieu, the project explored liminality in the presence of the performance. Featuring seven actors who were performing four main characters from Ibsen’s play, the project examines the construction of character through the audience’s perception and actors’ embodiment.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Video 01: Monitoring [A Doll’s House], Performance Video, Pegah Tabassinejad, 4 cameras, 01:00:49 hr., 2012.
Video 02 (file#1): Monitoring [A Doll’s House], Installation Video#1 (Actors), Pegah Tabassinejad, 03:52:07 hr., 2012.
Video 02 (file#2): Monitoring [A Doll’s House], Installation Video#1 (Actors), Pegah Tabassinejad, 03:52:07 hr., 2012.
Video 02 (file#3): Monitoring [A Doll’s House], Installation Video#1 (Actors), Pegah Tabassinejad, 03:52:07 hr., 2012.
Video 04: Monitoring [A Doll’s House], Installation Video #2 (The Whole view), Pegah Tabassinejad, 01:07:09 hr., 2012.
etd7608_PTabassinejad_supp_006.mp4
Senior supervisor: 
Steven Hill
Department: 
Communication, Art & Technology: School for the Contemporary Arts
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.F.A.