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a canvasUnBound

a canvasUnBound


Tara Lee Burns developed her research in the motion lab at ACCAD during the three years she spent getting her MFA in Dance at The Ohio State University. She focused her artistic explorations on making practices to re-imagine digital and analog technologies that manifest inside and outside the body. ACCAD supported Tara’s experience in VR/AR, Tilt Brush, Motion Capture, and experiential technology systems. Her final MFA project, a canvasUnBound, was performed in the motion lab and outside at the Drake Theatre in 2020, supported by faculty in both Dance and ACCAD. This research developed over the three years Tara spent working alongside faculty and students at The Ohio State University while applying for academic grants, conducting artistic research, producing iterations of projects, and learning technological software systems.

A purple and rainbow background layers itself on a dancer with a black mask. Her arms are outstretched in an "s" shape.

Research Statement:
Whether in physical or computing spaces, the body is the driving force. I am a dancer and somatic practitioner. The heart of all my work revolves around physical thinking. I view the body as a form of technology, ever-changing and always processing. In my dance compositions, human computing environments, and scholarship, I combine feminist, anti-racist, and queer theories with choreographic, multidisciplinary, and ethnographic-making strategies. My work questions society's perception of technology and how it should be used, engages the felt experiences inside and around digital spaces, and relies on resistance, resilience, and imagination to evoke movement. By reimagining dance/performance in rich, open, and creative environments, I address issues of access to both movement and technology through multiple platforms such as live performance, film, Virtual Reality (VR), web, and Augmented Reality (AR).

Vertical video projection slices of many colors cover the image with a dancer walking in their shadow


Project Description

a canvasUnBound is a performance with an interactive system including 20 panels of 10-second recordings that fade in and out in relation to a body’s coordinates in space. In an attempt to recontextualize the memory of embodiment, I filmed and edited this archive from the 3D paintings in Tilt Brush created in the performance of Extending the Body. Performed in the Motion Lab, the panels stretched along the main projection surface and the top projector on the ground. I used a large piece of white plastic sheeting to extend from one section of the projection to highlight the floor projection and also use it as a prop later in the work. When performing with the system, I embodied the same phenomenological methodology I use in VR. I had a spatial score that was unveiled over time when moving in the environment.


Project Team

Tara Burns, director

Oded Huberman, technical support

Alex Oliszewski, technical support

Faculty Advisors

Norah Zuniga-Shaw, committee chair, Professor, Department of Dance

Valarie Williams, committee member, Professor, Department of Dance