SCA News

Posted on 26 Aug 2015 in

- Exploring the notion of Partnership

SCA represents at Vancouver Fringe

An empty house (full of air). Photo by Ash Tanasiychuk

This September, SCA MFA grad Luciana D’Anunciação and MA student Carolina Bergonzonia team up to take part in the Vancouver Fringe with a performance An empty house (full of air) at the Pandora Park Fieldhouse.


Luciana D’Anunciação is a Brazilian artist who has been living in Vancouver since 2007. Driven by the uncountable artistic possibilities of being expressive through the body, D’Anunciação has done body training from butoh to contact improvisation, somatic dance practices and physical theatre. Her pieces has a starting point her own perceptive interactions within the world and social contexts, which make her pieces very personal and appealing to the human senses. Her works have a strong dialogue with video, installation, and sound. She has performed and exhibited in festivals and venues internationally such as Biennial de Performance Deformes 2014 (Chile), LIVE Biennale 2013 (Vancouver), the European Performance Art Festival 2011 in Poland (EPAF), Direct Action at Institut für alles mögliche in Berlin. Currently she is a member of the collective Dance Troupe Practice and is part of the board of directors for Live Biennial Performance Art Festival.

Carolina Bergonzonia is a Vancouver-based Italian dance artist and teacher. She is also a scholar with a BA and an MA in Philosophy, who is currently studying in the MA program in Comparative Media Arts at SFU. In addition, Carolina is a Dance Educator (Danzeducatore©- Dance Education and Community Dance), a teacher in Philosophy for Children (P4C) and a certificated Giocodanza® instructor. She basically loves dance both in a theoretical and practical way. Follow her on

We asked Carolina about the collaboration and what to expect at the performance.

Tell us a bit about An empty house (full of air) and your collaboration with SCA MFA grad Luciana D’Anunciacao?
An empty house (full of air) is a piece about relationship, partnership in particular. In a way, the piece is the final product of the creative process of transforming and inhabiting an empty space. I met Luciana during my first semester aft SFU, she was looking for help with her final grad project. We started talking and discovered we had common interests (Merleau-Ponty, phenomenology, touch, skin, sensations… ), so after her graduation she asked me “Do you wanna work together?”, I said yes… and we created our first piece An empty house (full of air).

For this piece, we discussed about what we considered the key elements of a performance (breath, gaze, contact between bodies… ) and tried to put these elements together. It’s a funny and intense piece and it’s vulnerable - the audience will be really REALLY! close to us. 

An empty house (full of air) will be presented at the Vancouver Fringe, it's a site-specific dance/theatre performance happening at Pandora Park's fieldhouse. How did the connection to the space come about?
Luciana is part of a collective names Dance Troupe Practice. In January the collective got a three years residency program at the Pandora Park fieldhouse. So... we got the key and walked in for the first time - the space was calling us. We entered that space and realized "oh... it's empty, but full of air!" We started playing with the domestic space and decided to keep it as clean as possible (which was really hard since the collective was working in the space as well!) in order to give our audience the idea of "emptiness" that we had in the first place.

You're originally from Bologna Italy, what were you first impressions of the contemporary art scene in Vancouver? 
Well, when I moved here I was really excited about all the drop-in dance opportunity. That is a model that we don't have in Bologna (for logistic and economic reasons) and it was really good and refreshing seeing all these dancers of all level and age. I also find it interesting the clear distinction that people made between what they call dance and what they call performance. We don't have this. Or better, what Vancouverites define as "performance" would easily be defined as dance in Italy (and Europe). It's just a matter of labels, but could be crucial if you looking for a workshop, a class or a job. 

You're currently studying the MA in Comparative Media. How has your background in dance and philosophy influenced your current studies? Are your studies broadening your approach to your performance work and vice versa?
I think my dance practice and my philosophical side have always influenced each other. Primary, what the MA in Comparative Media Arts is giving me is a methodology that I can apply (and I'm applying) in both my academic and dance practice. As an academic, I'm currently working on the notion of presence in the work of two Vancouver-based choreographers (Kitsos and Bingham) and the MA gave me the tools to deeply understand their practice throughout theoretical and methodological lenses.

On the other hand, as a dancer I can play with these elements; for instance, I worked on a piece "testing" the phenomenological approach that I was using in my research. Luciana and I created An empty house starting from this same idea: an exploration of body and space starting from the ideas of the French philosopher Merleau-Ponty (no worries - all this theory is not in the actual piece. It was just an inspiration for us in the early stage).

Do you have any further projects in the works? 
Luciana and I will performed together again during Dance in Vancouver on November 19 and 20 as part of the platform This is a Full Length in the alcove space on the Granville Street side of the Dance Centre.

My brain generates idea all days, but will see how much I could do! There are always two issues: money and time!

Posted on 20 Aug 2015 in

- Sabine Bitter receives 2015 Upper Austrian Cultural Award

with her collaborator Helmut Weber

Sabine Bitter with Helmut Weber. Photo: LIVE LIKE THIS!

Sabine Bitter and her collaborator Helmut Weber received the 2015 Upper Austrian Cultural Award (Landeskulturpreis) for their artistic work on urban issues.

Sabine Bitter is an assistant professor (Visual Art) at SCA. Vancouver and Vienna-based artists Bitter/Weber have cooperated on projects addressing urban geographies, architectural representations and related visual politics since 1993.


Since 1961, the region (province) of Upper Austria has given out awards  to senior and emergent artists for their cultural achievements. Each year an independent jury of experts adjudicate awards in four different disciplines. This year Sabine Bitter and Helmut Weber were awarded in the field of interdisciplinary art, alongside the other awards in literature, humanities, and visual art.

The award, valued at EURO 7,500, will be handed out at a governmental ceremony in November.

Posted on 13 Aug 2015 in

- Vancouver hosts global electronic artists

Arne Eigenfeldt has created software that controls the Modulatron, a 34-armed marimba playing robot built by Dr. Ajay Kapur and his team at CalArts.

21st International Symposium on Electronic Art happening August 14-19 at SFU's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts.

Article courtesy of The Vancouver Sun  |  By Shawn Conner

Over 150 years after player pianos (and 200 years after music boxes) helped introduce the world to automated instruments, Simon Fraser University’s Arne Eigenfeldt and some colleagues are taking mechanical music-making to a whole new level.

In Machine Songs, Vancouver guitarist Daryl Jahnke will improvise with software created by Eigenfeldt, a professor in SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. The software will control three musical robots: the Notomoton (an 18-armed percussion robot); a Yamaha Disklavier (a player piano under computer control); and the prof’s latest creation, the Modulatron (a 34-armed marimba playing robot).

“Most of the systems are completely autonomous, though they interact with a live musician,” Eigenfeldt said.

“Some systems are reactive, some are proactive ­— they compose on the spot and the performer reacts to them. They’re not an instrument. The computer is a fully-functioning, autonomous creator.”

Machine Songs is part of the Musical Metacreation Concert, just one of over 150 projects and performances that are coming to Vancouver as part of this year’s International Symposium of Electronic Art.

In the city for the first time in its 21-year history — and for only its second time in Canada — the symposium presents the most innovative and groundbreaking digital and new media art works from all over the world.

Hosted by SFU’s School of Interactive Arts + Technology and Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology, ISEA2015 is a five-day event that features over 450 speakers in workshops, tutorials, panels, papers, artist talks and institutional presentations.

“It’s the premiere worldwide festival of electronic art, so every year the latest, coolest things in electronic art are going to be shown,” said Eigenfeldt, who has attended the two previous ISEAs.

“At the same time, it’s a conference. Conferences are common in academic circles. But this is unusual because artists will present the talks. Most often, artists tend to say ‘My art speaks for itself,’ but this is a chance for them to talk on the work that they’re doing.

“In the scientific community, there’s a tremendous amount of sharing going on. But artists tend not to do that.”

While a large portion of the symposium is a chance for academics, researchers and artists to share knowledge, ISEA offers much to entice arts and culture lovers as well.

Perhaps the most exciting is a special edition of FUSE.

The quarterly Vancouver Art Gallery party, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, will be the biggest yet, with works by 50 top local and international artists.

Some of what FUSE-goers will see — and an example of the breadth of electronic art ISEA2015 is bringing to town — include Marisa Olson’s Blue Sky, a video sculpture housed in the carcass of an obsolete Mac computer tower. In the video, the artist is shown working in a studio environment to create a handmade blue sky.

In Kubrick or Korine™, Alex Munt and Justin Harvey will unveil a TV channel conceived for cultural producer, icon and visual artist James Franco.

In the sound sculpture By the Road Bjørn Erik Haugen has translated the sounds from car chases in famous movies into death metal music.

Other events during the symposium include The Mutek Cabaret (Aug. 16 and Aug. 18), two series of performances from some of Quebec’s most renowned and emerging artists working in the audiovisual field.

There are several keynote addresses by electronic art pioneers, as well as a final keynote address from the Yes Men.

The popular doc duo of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno have made a name for themselves by impersonating corporate criminals to draw attention to their nefarious, often clandestine doings. In their latest feature documentary, The Yes Men Are Revolting, they target Shell Oil, Gazprom Oil, and the US Chamber of Commerce. The two fit in with the symposium’s stated theme of “disruption.”

“We are trying to break the barrier between the academic and the artistic worlds,” Philippe Pasquier, co-organizer of the symposium, said of this year’s theme.

“What does it mean to do or think about culture and artistic expression in universities versus the real world?”

Meanwhile, Eigenfeldt is taking part in other events, like the Algorave (Aug. 14), in which all the music is generated from algorithms and computer coding.

“It’s live coding where the creator will be onstage typing in code, and that’s generating music,” Eigenfeldt said.

“It’s a whole new branch of live music.”

In addition to the events mentioned, there are all the talks, panels and discussions, most of which take place at Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. And 14 art galleries are going to present exhibits of ISEA work.

“It’s going to take over the city,” Eigenfeldt said.


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