Tag Archives: Fine Arts

Tom Stockham: The Father of Digital Audio Recording

Sam Katz, University of Utah

Fine Arts

“Tom Stockham: The Father of Digital Audio Recording” is a 30-minute documentary film about former University of Utah professor Thomas Greenway Stockham, Jr., who developed the first commercially viable method of recording sound digitally with extremely high fidelity and made it possible to edit sound and music using a hard drive. Despite the limitations of 60s and 70s computing technology, as well as a number of audio professionals who opposed to the shift to digital audio, Stockham believed in his ideas, persevered, and changed the way we listen to music forever. To this day, these innovations have dramatically altered the shape of the audio recording industry in music, television, and film. Despite Dr. Stockham’s many achievements, his story remains relatively unknown outside of the audio engineering world, even here at the University of Utah and in Salt Lake City, where much of his pioneering work was done. This film brings well-deserved attention to Dr. Stockham’s story. Sadly, Dr. Stockham passed away from early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2004, therefore I portray him by interviewing those who knew him best: his wife, his four children, and his colleagues. I situate Stockham’s life and work in a larger historical context by interviewing historians, musicians, and audio industry professionals, and by mining archival footage, family photos, voice memos, and magazines for relevant material. I travel from Seattle, to Boston, to Lake Powell, to Moab, to Salt Lake City. In homage to Stockham, I use the sound and music of the film, rather than images, as the locus from which meaning and emotional power are derived. The finished film serves as an important educational and historical resource and helps to preserve an important piece of the history of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and the State of Utah in general.

Bifurcate: Intersections and Photography

Kelly O’Neill, University of Utah

Fine Arts

After studying the formal qualities of photographic production and the canonic narratives of art history for over three years at the U, I am still left with a pressing question: how can this medium of artistic self-expression also be considered evidence admissible in the court of law powerful enough to elicit felony convictions? How can these mechanical images which I have been trained to see as subjective representations of artistic sentiment in their contrast, tonality, and composition simultaneously be objective records of fact in judicial and scientific discourses? If the medium of photography does exist how is this single operation able to function in such heterogeneous and contradictory discourses? Through my works and research I investigate these and other questions concerning the photographic medium’s ambiguous nature as a simultaneously aesthetic and empirical object. By combining a vast assortment of photographic forms from contemporary GIFs to historical processes such as the Cyanotype, my work reveals the multiplicity of the photographic form and its dubious ability to function within seemingly contradictory systems of knowledge production. Interrogating the processes by which photography has been used and abused, my project does not propose to reveal the truth of photography, but rather underlines the importance of seeing photography in a new and radicalized fashion. The images that I create contemplate the liminal spaces of photography in which its factual, emotional, institutional, and narrative truths commingle; fragmenting not only the solidity of the photograph but also the cultural and institutional systems it predominates. More than just a series of art works, my research seeks to bring a broader discourse on photographic meaning into a serious academic engagement which does not treat it as a simple device for conveying meaning but as a specific and complex subject in its own right.

Mainstreaming EDM

Steven Saline, Dixie State University

Fine Arts

Electronic Dance Music or EDM has grown from its underground club origins in the late 70’s to early 80’s to become a widespread phenomenon in pop music. Through out those years, EDM has been categorized in previous terms such as Techno, and Electronica. Today EDM can be heard in music festivals through out the world and is now widely experienced in the US. Much of the genres within EDM such as Dubstep, Hardcore,Trance, etc… were created and have evolved outside the US, however; House and Techno originates here in the US. In this presentation I will discuss the history of some of the popular genres in EDM, present how each of the genres started whether they were created on their own or their evolution from previous electronic music, the history of its origins, how the music evolved in Europe, and its move to the US as we hear the music today. I will present how wide-spread EDM has become and how diverse the various forms are within the genre. I propose that if EDM continues in the direction that it is moving now, EDM will continue to grow among all other forms of music in the world for years to come.

Maria Theresia von Paradis (1759-1824): A Blind Composer’s Place in Eighteenth Century Vienna

Jessica Russell, Dixie State University

Fine Arts

Early sources tell us women have traditionally played a background role in any event. It is only in recent decades that an interest in their historical role has taken place, and the field of musicology is no exception. Performers and composers that were well-known in their time have been forgotten as time moved forward. One such artist includes the Austrian composer and performer, Maria Theresia von Paradis. A contemporary of Mozart, Paradis was a traveling concert pianist and composer who is mostly remembered for being blind (Neuls-Bates 1982). Unfortunately, one of her most significant contributions to the field of music, namely her school of music for girls, has been forgotten and is left out of historical accounts almost completely. This school, which taught piano, voice, and music theory to girls, was innovative for its time (Fürst 2005). In this presentation, I will discuss the literature related to women in music in an effort to determine the extent to which these sources address Maria Theresia von Paradis and her contributions as a musician, composer, and pedagogue.

A Simple Suit: Understanding Edith Head by Recreating Her Work

Rebekah Jackson, Brigham Young University

Fine Arts

This project has been an involved approach to studying the history of costume design, both through conventional research and the more tactile construction process. While Edith Head is a renowned costume designer with many books and articles on her life work, less has been done to understand how her designs functioned and evolved from concept to completion. But this process is essential to understanding her career’s success, as it opens valuable insights to how Head thought as a designer. It reveals what she was and wasn’t willing to compromise on, how she balanced aesthetics with practical considerations and how she worked with an actor or actress to achieve the proper look for their character. In Blake Edward’s production The Great Race, Edith Head’s designs showed this transformation of idea to reality by compromises between the original designs and finished garment. A simple red suit, worn in this production, exemplifies such compromise and was the construction portion of my research. Recreating this costume, in conjunction with conventional research on Head and her work, revealed important decisions Head made from materials to fit, how and why she changed her original design and the general approach she used in her work. These insights combine to form the basic pattern used in her creative process, applicable to both costume design and related fields as it unveils the thought process of one of Hollywood’s most successful career women.

Dance Loops: A Dance Performance with Live, Interactive Video Looping

Hannah Braegger McKeachnie, Utah Valley University

Fine Arts

Dance Loops is a performance that does with dance what live looping has done for music: It allows performers to augment their own live performance with material that is recorded, manipulated, and played back on the spot.

In Dance Loops, three undergraduate dance students participate in a 10-minute semi-structured improvisation that includes a trio introduction, three solo sections, and a trio conclusion. Each section is recorded by Microsoft Kinect cameras, which capture RGB video and 3D motion data. The performers trigger recordings with an onstage controller, which allows them to select the duration of their recording, the form of manipulation, and the form of projected playback, as well as providing control of some parameters of the audio accompaniment. The video and motion data are processed with Max/MSP/Jitter, a dataflow programming language, and the audio is processed with Ableton Live and Max for Live. When the dance sequence has been recorded, it begins to play back immediately on either or both of two projectors. The dancer can then either repeat the process with an additional recording or perform with their “virtual partners.” The dancer is also able to manipulate the video and audio playback in real time via gestural controls – that is, specific body movements – that are read by the Kinect.

Conclusions and Significance
Dance Loops is a novel application of a new technology to dance. While live looping is becoming more common in music, it is essentially unexplored within dance. The hardware and software used in this performance give the performers a level of control – both programmed and improvised – that is nearly impossible with other methods. In addition, by making it possible for a single artist to perform the works of an entire ensemble, these methods provide greater freedom for artistic creation and expression.

Exploration of Strengths and Limitations of Clay

Natalie Jarvis, Brigham Young University

Fine Arts

My fascination with the process of distortion and my desire to bond with the transformative nature of the ceramic medium drives my exploration of its abilities and limitations. Making myself a part of the natural movement of the clay and helping each piece to find its abstracted balance is important during the creation process.

My work is meant to satisfy and release the already existing energy within the clay. The continuity of my forms depends on a balance of interactions between my wheel thrown ceramic sculptures and mixed materials. Concepts dealing with failure, rebirth, and transformation are present in my work, but are highly interpretable by the viewer. A sense of familiarity is also present on a subliminal or even surreal level in the distorted, hollow forms, which my work presents.

Northern Utah Youth Center

Kelsey Spaulding, Weber State University

Interior Design

Research states that the youth in almost any setting, will always need attention and assistance in navigating life. Pre-teen and teen years can be a time when children need attention, guidance, and direction while developing into mature citizens of their community and world (Larson, Positive Development in a Disorderly World, 2011). Within schools, adolescents are taught only a few of the fundamental ideas and practices that would help them to better navigate in an ambiguous world. In a study done by the New York State Afterschool Network, learning opportunities outside of the classroom help to increase the application of lessons and give adolescents a higher probability for achievement (Network, 2012). Outside of school, adolescent youth need to be able to interact with each other and gain an understanding of themselves and others in relation to the world. Without an interaction with other youth and different aspects of society, adolescents may become apathetic and lack an understanding of the effect they may have on others and their community (Balsano, 2005). In Ogden, Utah, there are a variety of cultures and backgrounds from which adolescent youth come (Bureau, 2012). It is important during the age of adolescence to interact in a personal, societal, and healthy environment during the time when their brains and personalities develop most (Larson, Adolescents’ Development of Skills for Agency in Youth Programs: Learning to Think Strategically, 2011). When given the proper tools, guidance, and opportunities to work with others and their community, adolescents become better leaders of the future. In turn they benefit society as a whole by creating a culture of understanding and willingness to work for an improved future (Network, 2012).In downtown Ogden a building has been proposed as a gathering place for youth between the ages of 14 and 18. The name of the building would be The Northern Utah Youth Center. The proposed design of the building has been created to accommodate a unique style of learning. It will provide a creative environment where youth are allowed to explore and experiment through the application of hands on learning. Utilizing the use of appropriate lighting, color and architectural design will allow for the youth to feel more at ease, creative, and constructive (Saxton, 2012). Within the two floors of the building, multipurpose rooms may be divided with partitions to maximize the use of space.

Freedom of Inquiry in Higher Education Performance Studies: Can we share the frame?

Rodolfo Rafael, Weber State University

Performing Arts

In preparation for choreographic projects for my degree, I attended the world-class Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company workshop on an undergraduate grant. The workshop included various subjects, but the most valuable and challenging approach was the emphasis on the “frame” of a work of art and how by changing the frame, the meaning and impact of art is affected. I became interested in the artistic and societal frame of marriage, and decided to use this frame for my student choreographic project. Since it was in an academic setting, I presented the idea in an open-ended manner, one that allowed the students to express their concerns. I was intent not so much on the outcome of the piece, but that the subject of marriage be questioned. I started by having a discussion with the students. I solicited and noted their boundaries. After finding an agreed upon point of compromise on how to approach this issue, we decided to move forward. Unfortunately, some never came back. In fear of losing more students, I changed directions. This experience brought me to a new issue. How much academic freedom do students have? Is higher education supposed to provide a platform where students are free to explore open inquiries? What if others aren’t willing to deal with social issues? Should students change the subject matter of their research to avoid offending others? How do we encourage others to discuss issues they don’t agree on? Is there a way we can find common ground and share the frame?

Maple Leaf Training Center

Kinsley Oates, Weber State University

Interior Design

Research shows that athletics help pave the wave for student to pay for college and obtain an education. (Proposition 48, N.C.A.A 2010) Proposition 48 supports this cause by focusing on the output of graduating students, rather than the input of entrance standards. The N.C.A.A studies show, “The persistence of low-achieving students in college have suggested that participation in athletics is frequently the catalyst for student who have not performed well in high school to study more diligently and, ultimately, to graduate.” Steve Kendall wrote that for many at-risk students, athletics is the only reason they go to school. He states, “These at-risk students who have no other reason to attend school other than athletics benefit from this policy. They are in classes and participating in the activities and exercises happening in the classrooms.” Jerry Tarkanian a coach at UNLV defends his stance on trying to help underprivileged players deserve a shot at straightening out their lives. The Maple Leaf Training Center located in Spanish Fork Utah, will provide at-risk student who attend high school a privilege to obtain scholarships and a chance of going to a college or university. Students who live in poverty and low income home do not have an option to get into colleges or universities. This 23,000 square foot facility will help 1st generations college students train and obtain scholarships, both academic and athletic for them to continue on to a college or university to pursue their future.