Date of Award

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art & Art History

First Advisor

Luis Valdovino

Second Advisor

Daniel Boord

Third Advisor

Melanie Walker

Abstract

"Gifts From Unknown Islands" is an interdisciplinary performance composition that was presented in the Atlas Black Box Theater, November 20 and 21, 2009. It was made possible by the award of an 'Atlas Innovator Fellowship' and the support of my M.F.A. thesis committee members, Luis Valdovino, Dan Boord, Melanie Walker, and Michelle Ellsworth.

Its purpose is to explore novel ways of composing duets involving human performers collaborating with technological elements in an interdisciplinary context. Additionally, it considers the primary importance of the blending of disciplines. The meaning does not arrive through the individual discipline itself, but through the combination and resulting alchemical transformation of the individual elements into a unified collective, pushing forward a point of view. Its overall structure is that of a frame story. It contains three individual performance duets, framed by introductions from a recurring character called the Traveler. The Traveler introduces the three main pieces with revealing prelinguistic rituals. The content of 'Gifts' did not start out as a conscious narrative It started out as independent performance vignettes. Through the development process it became clear that this piece had more connective tissue than was originally intended, so the choice was made to let the piece tell it's own story and trust the structure.

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