Pure Research

“There are few places in Canada where in-depth theatrical research can be explored without the pressure of developing or performing a new work. Nightswimming’s unique Pure Research program provides space, money and resources to artists who are pursuing provocative theatrical questions.” Nightswimming Theatre

Pure Research Vancouver 2012

lead researcher, Nita Bowerman
audio artist, Emma Hendrix
dance maker, Caroline Liffmann

The Question:
To what extent can the expression of lived traumas be abstracted without losing emotional resonance? Are there levels of abstraction that intensify emotional resonance? Abstraction enables the enactor/performer to express the lived trauma experience safe, uncensored and emotionally connected. Might abstraction also serve to invite an observer more deeply, honestly and unselfconsciously into a trauma? Using text sourced verbatim, cut-up and wiped-out of personal journal entries, using non-textual vocalization, and by amplifying and digitally modifying the voice, including mixing, layering and looping, this research seeks to investigate expressive states that authentically transfer feeling memory and amplify expressive impact.

Click here to read a report detailing the research.

Pure Research Vancouver is hosted by Nightswimming Theatre
in association with Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts

trigger warning 1







a selection of sound files generated during the research:

thank-you: Nightswimming Theatre & Brian Quirt, SFU Contemporary Arts & DD Kugler, Emma Hendrix, Caroline Liffmann, Rupal Shah, Rachel Steinberg