Theses (Visual Arts)

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Item
    Talking with Antigone
    (2018-07-25) Schraefel, Monica M. C.; Wadge, W.W.
    This project considers the role of conversation in writing by women, specifically, the role of conversational spaces for women’s construction of self within the symbolic. It does this through a consideration of narrative structures, modeled by Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. It also points towards how these concerns are situated within the latest textual media, the Internet. It then presents a model of textual reproduction and representation for online texts informed by the preceding discussions. Women in patriarchy can never presume a listener. Consequently, women’s textual productions very often foreground issues of “am I being heard, can I speak?” The lack of consideration in Eurocentric male texts/theories of whether or not a speaker is heard is significant in its absence from any canonical literary theoretical or critical model. By foregrounding conversation both as an issue specific to women’s writing, and as a narrative structure particular to women’s writing, this work provides a new site for pedagogical and critical consideration of writing by women. The chapters in this dissertation based on Wuthering Heights and To the Lighthouse read these novels from that site. Based on the above conversational theory, this thesis provides an historical context and feminist perspective through which to read women’s relationship to the Net as another textual medium in which women are foregrounding issues around voice, who can be heard and how. Historically women have been erased from contributions to computing. This erasure continues in patterns of text based identity construction in online interaction, where, again, the silencing of women’s voices is of critical moment. To address this erasure, this dissertation presents the constructions of a new text form, ConTexts (conversational texts), which brings feminist perspectives to engineering practices. Conversational texts differ from standard writing practice and current web document delivery in two ways. First, ConTexts are polylithic rather than monolithic. That is, a document is constructed only as the product of an exchange with a user/reader which results in the combination of appropriate text chunks into a new document. Current document models simply present prefabricated, monolithic units written for a single audience. Second, ConTexts incorporate intensional and AI programming, allowing the text delivery system to become involved in the exchange with the user to process user input and to create dynamic content (different versions of the text) which results from that exchange. Revising the presentation of texts as interactive and polylithic rather than prefabricated and monolithic is an insight located in this dissertation, derived from feminist study of conversation as narrative strategy. The versioning of texts according to user requests is situated and described within intensional logic programming and demand driven dataflow models. Intensional logic provides a framework and semantics for describing versions in terms of a version space and possible worlds. In this dissertation, Intensional HTML is used to demonstrate a preliminary form of conversational texts because it allows versions of texts to be delivered through standard web browsers. That conversation is a formative issue in writing by women is a unique contribution of this thesis to feminist literary practice and is the organizing principle of this dissertation. That real conversation is only an issue in women's writing is the main insight of this work. This dissertation presents the blending of feminist theory with feminist engineering practice. Its observations and implementation designs point to new directions in both text reading and creating practices.
  • Item
    Interactivity by design: interactive art systems through network programming
    (2017-01-11) Bjornson, Steven A.; Walde, Paul; Tzanetakis, George
    Interactive digital art installations are fundamentally enabled by hardware and software. Through a combination of these elements an interactive experience is con- structed. The first half of this thesis discusses the technical complexity associated with design and implementation of digital interactive installation. A system, dreamIO, is proposed for mediating this complexity through providing wireless building blocks for creating interactive installations. The technical details–both hardware and software– of this system are outlined. Measurements of the system are presented followed by analysis and discussion of the real world impact of this data. Finally, a discussion of future improvements is presented. The second half of this thesis examines an example interactive installation, Trans- code, which uses the proposed system as the building block for the piece. The piece is presented as evidence for the value of the proposed system and as a work of art in it’s own right. The use of the dreamIO system is detailed followed by a discussion of the interactivity and aesthetic form of the work. The purposes of these specific design choices are then presented. Finally, the work is analyzed through a combination of Relational Aesthetics and Cybernetics.
  • Item
    Experiencing by Interacting: A Study on Mediated Experience in Digital Interactive Arts
    (2013-08-29) Wang, Yifan; Gibson, Steve; Adam, Martin T.
    This study focuses on the manifestation of mediated experiences in digital media environments in the visual arts, conducted by human-computer interactive technologies such as virtual reality and augmented reality, in order to construct a framework for understanding experience through diverse artistic experiments. My inquiry is constructed through analysis of the connections, indications and reflections of mediated experience in various interactive virtual environments, and discusses the profound and related connections among media, technology and experience in the context of digital interactive arts. Further, a number of representative artworks, particularly in the territory of digital interactive arts, are examined in order to map the concept of mediated experience. The study of the philosophical, social and cultural roots of experience is at the center of this project. This research can be considered a trial that brings theoretic discourse into art practices, and vice versa. By situating the discussion through case studies of artworks, readers are better able to read abstract concepts in actual artistic practices and develop a deeper understanding of the topic. These considerations, from a broader point of view, pave the road for the future manipulation and application of interactive digital media in public visual art. Digital interactive art as a complex of technology and conceptual exploration is an ideal vehicle for embarking on the research into the instinctive and emotional feelings generated by human-computer interactive experiences.
  • Item
    Aesthetic agents: experiments in swarm painting
    (2012-09-28) Love, Justin; Wyvill, Brian; Gibson, Steve
    The creation of expressive styles for digital art is one of the primary goals in non-photorealistic rendering. In this paper, we introduce a swarm-based multi-agent system that is capable of producing expressive imagery through the use of multiple digital images. At birth, agents in our system are assigned a digital image that represents their 'aesthetic ideal'. As agents move throughout a digital canvas they try to 'realize' their ideal by modifying the pixels in the digital canvas to be closer to the pixels in their aesthetic ideal. When groups of agents with different aesthetic ideals occupy the same canvas, a new image is created through the convergence of their competing aesthetic goals. We use our system to explore the concepts and techniques from a number of Modern Art movements and to create an interactive media installation. The simple implementation and effective results produced by our system makes a compelling argument for more research using swarm-based multi-agent systems for non-photorealistic rendering.
  • Item
    Mythologies of an (un)dead Indian
    (2012-03-22) Leween, Jackson Twobears; Kroker, Arthur; Alfred, Taiaiake
    This dissertation explores the aesthetics of contemporary Indigenous identity— its various manifestations, simulations, hybridizations, (dis)appearances, and liminalities. It is a project about the lived experience of ancestry conceived of through narratives of shapeshifting, virtuality, sacrifice, hauntings and possession. This project is representative of a period of time in an on-going journey that began long before these first words were written…and one that I intend will continue long after this book’s completion. The methodological approach to this work is multifaceted, encompassing the fields of Indigenous philosophy, digital media art and cultural studies. It is a project comprised of several interrelated strands of theoretical speculation, philosophical inquiry and creative engagement. This dissertation is in many ways an autobiographical text—a meditation on my own Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) heritage and the spaces I occupy in the world as Onkwehonwe (an Indigenous person). At its core it is about exploring different modes of engagement with my own ancestral ‘territories’, while at the same time it endeavors to ask larger questions about collective memory, community, and cultural inheritance. In being representative of a journey, the interrelated strands of writings in this text are meant to be traversal, and are about surveying and mapping different intellectual and creative territories. This text is about crossing interdisciplinary zones of theoretical inquiry that occur at the intersection and hybridization of Indigenous and Western philosophies, contemporary First Nations performance art and post-structuralist theory. It is a work comprised of ebbs and flows, movements, refrains, and cascades of articulation that interpenetrate and cross over into one another. This text is therefore best thought of as a series of theoretical passageways—a multiplicity of thoughts and critical engagements in motion, translation and conversion. It must be said that the traversals and crossings in this text are not necessarily about establishing a synthesis between differing ideologies, philosophies or cosmologies. It is not intended to be dichotomous, but rather should be read as a remix-theory that passes in-between different fields of critical inquiry. For while on the one hand this text seeks to explore different zones of intellectual and creative proximity, it is also a work that emerges from within a multitude of contradictions and myriad incommensurabilities.
  • Item
    Visual narratives in Waterton Lakes National Park 1874-2010
    (2011-02-08T16:50:42Z) Smith, Trudi Lynn; Gammon, Lynda; Walsh, Andrea N.
    In this dissertation I investigate photographs not only as images of something, or as objects we can hold, but I also investigate how they are acts grounded in place. That is, I consider the photograph as event. The backbone of my research is a hybrid social science and visual art undertaking in which I produce both academic texts and art installations through visual inquiry into the intensely imagined places that are Canadian national parks. I examine how the myth of wilderness is made concrete in visual images of Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. I explore the situatedness of photography through ethnographic and archival research into the conditions that produced over four-hundred photographs of Waterton from the late 19th century to the present. This research advances understanding of how specific historical photographic events shape dominant systems of environmental knowledge in Canada. I explore the intertwined histories of place and representation in Waterton over the past 150 years and how they emerge in the present. To unravel the politics of representation in national parks in Canada I address three key questions: First, how do images that portray and represent wilderness in Canada affect not only our imagination about national parks, but our experiences in, and actions in, national parks? In particular, how are photographs not just representations of national parks but how do we form a relationship to space and place through them? Second, I carry out a visual investigation of Waterton Lakes National Park to study the photograph as event, and ask, how photographs, not just as images and objects, are acts grounded in place? Finally, I ask: What new approaches can be deployed to investigate existing visual collections and to bring them to bear on the history and present of the national park space? I describe how visual methods can generate new ways of thinking about photography and place.
  • Item
    Interdisciplinary performance practices for Western art music and the reception of interdisciplinary performance
    (2010-02-08T19:46:16Z) Robinson, Dylan; Gibson, Steve
    This study proposes new, interdisciplinary performance practices for music, and critiques reception strategies for existing inter-arts performance. The first section of the study examines the ways in which music performance practice intersects with questions of authorship and adaptation, and formulates methods of interdisciplinary performance practices by drawing on the literature of Critical Theory and post-structuralism. The second part of the study proposes methods of reception that critique the necessity for pure contemplation and conceptualizes how distracted reception offers an important alternative for interdisciplinary, and conceptually polysemic, performance work. The principal motivation behind both of these proposals for the re-contextualization of performance practice and reception is based upon a critique of transparent and monosemic communication. Thus. the study critiques structures of evaluation and presentation that have at their core an objectivist approach that strives for transparency at the cost of acknowledging polysemic complexity and difficulty. The study concludes that several alternatives to the objectivist traditions of criticism. in this study represented by the concepts of interpretive violence, distracted reception and conceptual polysemy, can indeed be used to promote heightened conceptual awareness.