Visual and performing arts research day showcases fine arts projects

Researchers from the Faculty of Fine Arts will share their recent projects and works-in-progress as part of York’s Research Month, which celebrates the achievements and diversity of the University’s research community. Visual and performing arts research will be on view Wednesday, Nov. 24, from 10am to 2pm in the Vari Hall Rotunda.

“We plan to showcase the depth and diversity of research creation in our Faculty,” said Professor Michael Longford, associate dean, research & planning in the Faculty of Fine Arts. “From 3D cinema to 3D printing, custom typefaces to digital storytelling, from films and videos, iPhone apps and websites to exhibition catalogues, scholarly publications and music, our research will be on display, live on stage and on screens large and small.”

The Future Cinema Lab’s monumental inflatable screen will assuredly draw a crowd. Projected on this free-standing 16 by 13 foot screen will be short films and excerpts of works by some of the talented directors associated with the lab, including film Professors John Greyson, Brenda Longfellow, Ali Kazimi and Canada Research Chair Janine Marchessault.

Right: The inflatable screen

From 12:30 to 1:30pm, the big screen will be the backdrop for Longford’s interdisciplinary collaboration Tentacles.  This unique application for the Apple iPhone/iPod touch turns the devices into mobile game controllers, enabling participation in a multi-user, location-based game projected into public spaces. For more information about Tentacles, a Mobile Media Lab co-production that premiered last year at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, see YFile, Sept.30, 2009.

Left: An image from Tentacles

Longford will also demonstrate his Mobile Media Lab’s recently acquired Maker-Bot printer, which brings 3D out of the realm of optical illusion and into the physical world. Available in easy-to-assemble kits online, and marketed as the “latest in cutting-edge personal manufacturing technology”, the Maker-Bot uses ABS plastic to create 3D objects from 3D digital files. These objects, up to four by four by six inches in size, can be scanned replicas of existing items or self-designed.

Visitors will have the chance to experience stereoscopic 3D vision via special glasses and a 3D monitor set up by the 3D Film Innovation Consortium, a.k.a. 3D FLIC. This $1.4-million interdisciplinary academic-industry research partnership based at York was launched last April (see YFile, May 5). 3D FLIC researcher, film Professor Ali Kazimi and project co-ordinator Juana Awad will be on hand to discuss ongoing research and upcoming projects.

Left: Ali Kazimi on location

Clips from video productions by Visual Arts Professors Nancy Nicol, Jennifer Fisher and others will be featured on flat screen televisions placed throughout the hall.

Canada Research Chair Caitlin Fisher ’s augmented reality poem Requiem will be demonstrated by technician Andrew Roth.  The project was created in the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Augmented Reality Lab, which Fisher directs.

Right: An image from Fisher’s augmented reality poem Requiem

Publications in a wide array of media and formats will also be on display and include CDs, limited-edition art prints, copies of journals, online and printed publications containing articles authored or designed by York fine arts faculty. The huge variety of material on display includes: art prints by visual arts visual arts Professors Barbara Balfour and Katherine Knight; issues of Canadian Theatre Review edited by theatre Professors Laura Levin and Marlis Schweitzer; and of Lush magazine featuring art direction by design Professor Paul Sych. There will be online articles by dance Professor Susan Cash and visual arts Professor Malcolm Thurlby, books by Faculty of Fine Arts Dean Barbara Sellers Young, dance Professor Donna Krasnow and Professor Rob Bowman, and more.

Visitors are encouraged to pick up a copy of the November 2010 edition of the Faculty of Fine Arts Research Newsletter. Published regularly, the newsletter highlights the outstanding research and creation work that is conducted within the Faculty and is a forum for sharing information, funding opportunities, expertise and other resources useful to everyone.

Left: The cover of a book authored by Faculty of Fine Arts Dean Barbara Sellers-Young

At the conclusion of the exhibition in Vari Hall, the York community is invited to extend the Fine Arts research experience with a special performance of Music Professor Michael Coghlan’s one-act chamber opera, Frankie and Johnnie. Coghlan’s composition is based on an anonymous American ballad of the same title, thought to date back to the late 19th or early 20th century. While he originally scored the chamber opera for orchestra, it is presented here in an adaptation for two soprano soloists and a women’s chorus with piano accompaniment. The show, taking place in the Tribute Communities Recital Hall in the Accolade East Building at 2:30pm, is performed by students from Opera Laurier. Admission is free.

For more information, visit the Research Month webpage.