Shannon CuykendallTerm Lecturer and Sessional Instructorat Simon Fraser University
Shannon Cuykendall (PhD) is a transdisciplinary artist and scholar working across the fields of dance, interaction design, and cognitive science. She lives in Vancouver, Canada on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples and is an instructor at SFU (School of Interactive Arts + Technology and the School for the Contemporary Arts). Shannon studies dance cognition or how dancers learn movement. She is interested in how kinesthetic knowledge can be transmitted online to both reach broader audiences and extend one's knowledge of the body. In 2017 she launched A Performer’s Perspective, an online interactive documentary that translates three dancers' experiences. She previously worked as a research assistant at UC San Diego’s Interactive Cognition Lab analyzing the cognitive practices of dancers in Wayne McGregor’s Random Dance Company. Her research in dance cognition has received international recognition and is published in the journal of Psychological Science and the Cognitive Science Society.
Shannon's interactive artwork explores how the use of lo-fi, accessible mobile technologies can create fewer barriers between the performer and the technology. She seeks to design opportunities for audiences to engage kinesthetically in the joy of movement. In 2015 she co-created POEME: A Poetry Engine, an interactive, theatrical movement installation that interprets acceleration data from participants’ mobile devices into whimsical poetry while referencing issues of surveillance in the choreographed routines of mass transit. Shannon's choreography and interactive installations have been exhibited and performed in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. She has recently started making dance film and exploring the possibilities of what she calls "quarantine technique." Her film, Floating Departures (2021) has been screened at festivals and conferences in Chicago, Santa Barabara, Brazil, and will be coming to Vancouver in October 2022.