Crossing Boundaries Symposium now in its fourth year

The fourth annual Crossing Boundaries Symposium, presented by the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Fine Arts, brings together interdisciplinary members of the community, faculty, students and alumni to engage in a full day of presentations, discussions, displays and performances.

Brad Parker listens to the Aeolian Harp he built with music student Jess Tollestrup.

“Crossing Boundaries invites our community to experience the collaborations, creative activities and research across multiple disciplines,” says Dr. Mary Ingraham, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts of the Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019 event. “It is about discovering and celebrating those cross-collaborative intersections and synergies and finding inspiration to explore new areas of thought and research in the fine arts and across the University.”

The theme for Crossing Boundaries 2019, Languages | Landscapes | Algorithms, is established with the keynote presentation by Leanne Elias (new media) entitled, Visualizing Agriculture, at 9 a.m. in the University Recital Hall. Elias’s talk includes the premiere of the documentary of the same name, co-directed by Bryn Hewko (MFA '16) and his company Output Media, which revolves around the creative works and artist exhibition derived from agricultural data developed by Dr. Jaime Larson and Dr. Andre Laroche of the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada. Visualizing Agriculture considers the counterpoints of art meeting science and investigates the effect of intensive collaboration. Discover how artists can use the scientific process to guide their art, and how scientists can use artistic ways of knowing to approach their data in new ways.

Jess Tollestrup works on the Aeolian Harp, on display at Crossing Boundaries.

Following Elias’s keynote presentation, MFA candidate Michelle Sylvestre will speak on her research, Physicalizing Control, Disruption and the Body, which examines the parallels and differences in contemporary pharma and contemporary technology in relation to control of the body. PhD candidate Migueltzinta Solis will then present on LandMarks: Site-Based Arts Pedagogy in Treaty 7 Territory. At 10:40 a.m., Department of Psychology faculty member, Dr. Javid Sadr, and Department of Drama faculty members, Dr. Aaron Taylor and Douglas MacArthur cap off the morning programme, discussing projects developing from the Screen Acting and Embodied Recognition Research Group.

Registrants are invited to observe and interact with student research displays and installations from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., located in the University Atrium and University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Hess Gallery.

This year’s Crossing Boundaries Symposium is scheduled during the U of L Open House, which welcomes prospective students and their families to campus.

“Coordinating the symposium during this event gives future students the opportunity to see a sampling of the fascinating research opportunities and collaborative activities on our campus,” says Ingraham. “It allows these students to experience the types of work and study they will engage in and provides great interaction with many of the faculty who will also be in attendance at the symposium.”

Afternoon sessions include Dr. Amandine Pras’s (music) presentation focussing on compositional and improvisational tools used by studio technicians as part of her research in the recording studios in war-torn Bamako, Mali. Continuing on the theme of sound, language and landscape, a talk by MA candidate Tyler Stewart examines the role sound has played as a political instrument to silence dissenting groups and individuals, and in turn, how language and sound is used to resist and rise against such powers.

A panel discussion, Objects Dream comprised of Fine Arts faculty members, Dr. Dana Cooley (new media), Denton Fredrickson (art), Mia van Leeuwen (drama), and Dr. D. Andrew Stewart (music), rounds out the afternoon’s sessions. This discussion explores the relationships and interactions of material objects, and their associations as a link across artistic disciplines.

This year’s Crossing Boundaries Symposium showcases an evening finale of works by Dr. Arlan Schultz (music), Dr. Daniela Sirbu (new media) and a collaborative presentation by Bryn Hewko (new media), Dr. D. Andrew Stewart (music) and Jordan Berg. Schultz’s live demonstration highlights how new algorithms for real-time immersive audio can be used to enhance and augment real-time acoustic performances. Sirbu’s presentation incorporates algorithmic animation demonstrated through samples of live animation developed in interaction with an artificial life system. Hewko, Stewart and Berg’s collaborative performance, Crawlspace, combines film with live digital coding. Audience members are invited to use their own personal tablets to create their own viewing experience, with one lucky audience member outfitted with the Oculus Rift for a full virtual reality experience. This showcase begins at 5 p.m. in W420 (Centre for the Arts), preceded by a reception and cash bar at 4:30 p.m.

Registration for Crossing Boundaries is open to all, with early bird pricing active until October 20, 2019.

Visit the Crossing Boundaries webpage for the schedule of events and updated information as it arises.