- Spring 2021
- Announcing the winners of the Fall 2020 FCAT Photo Contest
- Announcing the 2020 FCAT Research Excellence Award recipients
- The one and only: Jo-Anne Ray recognized for 25 years of service to SFU publishing program
- Stephen Collis receives $20,000 grant to host geopoetics symposium and residency
- SFU’s Digital Democracies Institute led by Wendy Chun works to advance new technology and cultural democracy
- Interdisciplinary degree sets dance grad on unique artistic path
- Carman Neustaedter named dean of Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology
- Chantal Gibson's Senate artwork raises social awareness for Black Canadian voices
- Bernhard Riecke works with SFU PhD students to launch their VR installation Body RemiXer
- SIAT professor Carman Neustaedter shares what he has learned about online teaching during the pandemic
- Steve DiPaola of SIAT collaborates with an International team to develop VR training simulations
- Teaching in a digital world: Introducing FCAT’s new Teaching Fellow, Hannah McGregor
- SIAT alumnus partners with Mechatronic Systems Engineering professor to produce 3D-printed ventilators
- Untold internet histories: A research partnership between SFU and the London School of Economics
- Wendy Chun receives $200,000 research grant to combat fake news
- SIAT MA student Meta Vaughan receives the 2020 Terry Fox Gold Medal
- Summer 2020
- Spring 2020
- Fall 2019
- Summer 2019
- Spring 2019
- Fall 2018
- Summer 2018
- Spring 2018
- Fall 2017
- Spring 2017
- Fall 2016
- Summer 2016
- Spring 2016
- Fall 2015
- Summer 2015
- Spring 2015
- Fall 2014
- Summer 2014
- Spring 2014
- Fall 2013
- News archive
- Future students
- Get involved
- Current students
School for the Contemporary Arts, Performance & Culture
Interdisciplinary degree sets dance grad on unique artistic path
By Tessa Perkins Deneault
When Caroline MacCaull began her dance degree in SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts (SCA), she didn’t know how to effectively use her laptop. Now, she’s graduating as a dance artist and choreographer who integrates digital technology into her practice.
Her work has been featured at the Vines Art Festival and she is currently an artist-in-residence at What Lab in East Vancouver. She’s also working on a piece to be presented online as part of The Dance Centre’s Digital Dance: Micro Commissions series.
In MacCaull’s third year, when she realized she could take her degree in her own direction, her perspective on her university experience changed. She completed a directed studies course with dance professor Judith Garay and in summer 2019 she joined a field school to Berlin with visual art professor Judy Radul.
“We saw a lot of art and performances in Berlin, and I fell in love with using technology in art. My perspective completely opened up.”
While in Berlin, she heard about Dhurii, a dance school and art centre in Bangalore, India that was accepting applications for its first artist-in-residence program. She applied on a whim and a few weeks later was spending her days dancing and choreographing as one of six artists-in-residence while being mentored by a computer science specialist.
In MacCaull’s fourth year, she worked with dance professor Rob Kitsos to develop a methodology she calls “edit to choreograph.” She takes videos of improvised movement and manipulates them in various ways, such as altering their sequence or tempo. Using an algorithm developed with SCA staff member and composer Stephan Smulovitz, she recreated the movement associated with each video clip as the algorithm selected a randomly chosen clip each time it detected stillness.
MacCaull plans to pursue graduate studies and continue this type of research. While technology is used in many dance productions, her goal is to find ways to make the movement and technology equally important to the art while developing her own unique interdisciplinary practice.
During an internship with Chimerik Collective and SCA alumnus Sammy Chien, an interdisciplinary artist who integrates new media into performance, MacCaull further developed her skills in video editing and software programs such as Isadora.
“That internship has had the biggest impact on my career so far,” says MacCaull. “Sammy is such a kind, genuine person.”
The internship led to a stronger interest in coding, and MacCaull took a computing science course in one of her last terms to learn the Python coding language. MacCaull’s programming and video editing skills have served her well in our new digital-first world. Her Vines Festival programming was moved online, and she was able to turn her work into a dance video instead of a simple recording of what she had originally planned.
“Every new thing in my degree kept building on the last. I was lucky with the timing of learning technology and video editing, and I’m excited to see what happens next.”
Virtual Fall Convocation
SFU's Virtual Fall Convocation runs Oct. 22-23. For more information and event details, visit sfu.ca/convocation.