Dr Sophy Smith

Job: Reader in Creative Technologies

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC)

Address: Institute of Creative Technologies (IOCT), Queens Building, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: 0116 2551551 (6752)

E: ssmith05@dmu.ac.uk

W:

Social Media: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/sophysmith

 

Personal profile

My research focuses on inter/multi/transdisciplinary collaboration, primarily, but not restricted to professional arts practice.  I also work extensively as a composer and performer on professional collaborative arts projects both nationally and internationally.  I have had a number of articles and chapters published in international journals including Organised Sound, International Journal of Art, Culture and Design Technologies and Arts in Society.  My first book Hip-Hop Turntablism, Creativity and Collaboration is to be published with Ashgate (2013).  The book develops an analytical methodology for hip-hop team turntable composition, relating to both the process of creation and the completed musical work.  As Programme Leader for the IOCT's innovative transdisciplinary Masters in Creative Technologies (MA/MSc), my work with students at the convergence of the e-sciences and digital arts and humanities and this is reflected in her pedagogic research interests. 

Research group affiliations

Institute of Creative Technologies

Music Technology and Innovation Research Centre

Performance Research Group

Intermediality and Performance Research Group

Publications and outputs 

  • Dance Performance and Virtual Reality - an investigation of current practice and a suggested tool for analysis.
    Dance Performance and Virtual Reality - an investigation of current practice and a suggested tool for analysis. Smith, Sophy The relationship between performance and VR technologies has been ongoing since the initial development of VR in the 1980s. Much has been written about the flurry of experimentation in VR and performance during the 1990s, but not much has been written about more recent work. This article is a contextualisation of recent dance practice made for/in Virtual Reality (VR) and a discussion of any characteristics of that work. For the purpose of this article, my definition of VR includes both 360 film experienced through a VR headset, as well as computer generated virtual environments, also experienced through a VR headset. This article will forefront practice, and drawing on relevant theories and frameworks, discusses the relationship between performance and virtual reality, followed by a discussion of each of the six key works, all of which premiered in 2016-7. The article goes on to outline characteristics of this work including types of creative content and the role of the audience and will provide a tool for analysing and understanding VR dance performance work as well as reflecting on the importance of interdisciplinary creative teams and collaborative partnerships. The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
  • Pervasive Theatre: Post Screen Audiences and Professional Performance Practice
    Pervasive Theatre: Post Screen Audiences and Professional Performance Practice Smith, Sophy This paper examines how the habits and expectations of post-screen audiences are driving changes in professional performance, and asks how the ubiquity of the screen can help find new ways to engage audiences with professional performance practice. The paper centres on a practice-based research project Pervasive Theatre (funded by FutureDream through Arts Council England and Kent County Council) carried out by the author with the performance company Assault Events. The 7 month project explored the potential of online social tools to create a multi media cross-platform environment for performance, and sought to advance the field of performance practice by developing new frameworks to create professional performance practice that reflects new screen modalities. Through the creation of the piece Hopscotch Highway, the project explored what new screen modalities could offer professional performance practice, particularly relating to different ways that audiences could engage with performance through mobile platforms. Through a multi-platform, transmedia approach the company developed a piece of work that explored different ways to make and share performance work, creating a framework for practice that reflects media audiences new ways of accessing, experiencing and engaging with creative content. Keywords: Post Screen The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.
  • Play in Practice - innovation through play in the postgraduate curriculum
    Play in Practice - innovation through play in the postgraduate curriculum Smith, Sophy Play is well-established as central to the learning processes of young children (including Anning (2015) Moyles (2015) and Wood and Attfield (2005)) and is included in UK state legislation, central to the Statutory Framework for Early Years Foundation Stage (2017). This chapter will counter the assumption that play-based learning is of value only to Early Years teaching and learning by outlining how it has been used to develop and carry-out research within a Higher Education postgraduate programme. By outlining a number of benefits of play-based approaches to teaching, learning and wider curriculum development at postgraduate level, this chapter demonstrates how a play-based approach to postgraduate programmes can enable programme teams to create transformative learning environments that enable risk-taking and innovation, enhancing the creative practice of learners and meet the changing needs of a contemporary workplace.
  • Social media and choreographic practice Creative tools for collaboration, co-creation and creative practice
    Social media and choreographic practice Creative tools for collaboration, co-creation and creative practice Smith, Sophy
  • Embedding the Corporate Story through Performance
    Embedding the Corporate Story through Performance Harwood, Tracy; Smith, Sophy
  • Pervasive Theatre: New Writing for New Environments
    Pervasive Theatre: New Writing for New Environments Smith, Sophy This article explores the opportunities and implications for new digital writing in transmedia performance environments. This paper centres on the experimental Pervasive Theatre project (Assault Events 2014, commissioned by futuredream funded through Arts Council England), which explored the potential of online social tools to create a multimedia, collaborative and participatory work situated across multiple platforms. This project brought together researchers, artists, writers, technologists and practitioners from the interdisciplinary fields of digital writing, transmedia and performance to explore ways to develop narratives that weave together physical and online worlds, blurring the distinction between reality and fantasy, audience and performers in a way that would be exciting, immersive and participative. The project looked at different performative spaces including Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Vines, exploring how these platforms could support the delivery of original narrative performance. This transmedia approach informed and shaped the digital writing practice, instigating new modes of working. Four aspects were of particular interest and will be explored in this paper – how new writing can emerge from within online spaces rather than being translated onto them; how characteristics of different online social platforms inform style and content; how social media platforms can be used to develop narrative and character through creative collaboration with performers and, finally, how online social spaces enable the digital writer to develop a narrative framework through which audiences frame their own meaning.
  • Kireek 2011 Championship Routine Analysis
    Kireek 2011 Championship Routine Analysis Smith, Sophy
  • An evaluation of performance arts in generating business value
    An evaluation of performance arts in generating business value Harwood, Tracy; Smith, Sophy
  • 'Fragile' Soundtrack
    'Fragile' Soundtrack Smith, Sophy Motionhouse launched its newly commissioned large-scale outdoor show Fragile in Glasgow on 25 & 26 July to be seen again on 29 & 30 August in Canterbury ay bOing! Festival. This family-friendly outdoor show is a dramatic performance of agility, precision and strength, with an original soundtrack by Sophy Smith and Tim Dickinson. The show features Motionhouse dancers who were joined by a team of highly skilled JBC operators, Motionhouse apprentices and a group of local emerging artists from Glasgow. Fragile is co-commissioned by Conflux, Merchant City Festival and Gulbenkian, University of Kent, with support from Creative Scotland, Glasgow City Council, Arts Council England and sponsored by Scot JCB and AB 2000. The newly created work builds on Motionhouse’s previous innovation between dancers and the JCB machines.
  • Power to Share – Facebook and Collaborative Arts Practice
    Power to Share – Facebook and Collaborative Arts Practice Smith, Sophy

 

Click here for a full listing of Sophy Smith's publications and outputs.

Research interests/expertise

  • Creative collaboration
  • Turntablism
  • Hip-Hop
  • Collaborative approaches to arts practice
  • Social media and arts practice
  • Performance Arts
  • Composition
  • Creative Curricula
  • Trans/multi/interdisciplinary teaching and learning

Areas of teaching

Performance Technologies, Digital Cultures, Turntablism, Creative Collaboration, Composition, Transdisciplinary Research, Research Methods for Creative Projects, Research Methods in Practice and Major Project.

Qualifications

BA Hons Music and Inter Arts, MA Contemporary Performing Arts, PhD Music Technology

Courses taught

Masters in Creative Technologies (MA/MSc)

Honours and awards

DMU Teacher Fellow (2015)

HEA Senior Teacher Fellow (2015)

Membership of external committees

Chair, Board of Directors, Assault Events.

 

Membership of professional associations and societies

PRS for Music, 1998 to present, Writers Membership

 

Conference attendance

Smith, S. (2011) “An analytical methodology for Hip-Hop turntable routines”,  Seventh International Conference on Music Since 1900, Lancaster July 2011.  Accepted paper.  Attendance funded by IOCT.

Smith, S. (2010) “The creative use of online social media to increase public engagement and participation in the professional arts through collaborative involvement in creative practice”, ARLIS UK & Ireland Conference, Edinburgh, July 2010.  Invited paper.  Attendance funded by organisers.

Smith, S and Fisher, S (2010) “Putting the Audience in the Picture: Involving Audience as Creative Process”, Audiences NI Annual Conference, Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland, March 2010. Attendance funded by organisers.

Smith, S. (2009) “The creative uses of Facebook as a tool for artistic collaboration”, Electronic Visualisation and the Arts conference, London, July 2009. Peer reviewed.  Published conference proceedings.  Attendance funded by IOCT.

Smith, S. (2009) “The creative use of online social media to increase public engagement and participation in the professional arts through collaborative involvement in creative practice.” Computers and the History of Art conference, London, Nov 2009. Peer reviewed. Published conference proceedings.  Attendance funded by organisers.

Passow B.N., Gongora, M. A., Smith, S. and Hopgood, A. A. (2009) “Supervised Control of a Flying Performing Robot using its Intrinsic Sound”, World Congress on Computer Science and Information Engineering (CSIE 2009).

Passow B.N., Gongora, M. A., Smith, S. and Hopgood, A. A.  (2009) “Managing Uncertainty in Sound based Control for an Autonomous Helicopter”, IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence 2009.

Other forms of public presentation

Performances:

The Voyage, London Festival 2012

The Giant is Coming, Assault Events, Touring Northern Ireland

Chaser, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2008 to present.

Underground, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2008 to present.

Alibi, Assault Events. Touring Northern Ireland .

Scattered, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2009 to present, UK, EU, China and America.

Cascade, Motionhouse Dance Theatre. Touring Internationally 2010 to present, UK and EU .

Consultancy work

Area of expertise; creative collaboration, composition, performance arts, inter/multi/transdisciplinarity, inter/transdisciplinary curriculum development, social media and arts practice. 

Previously, I have acted as a consultant for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council on models of best practice for interdisciplinary learning events.

Current research students

  • Lu Zhang, Full-Time PhD Student (1st supervisor)
  • Jacqui Norton, Part-Time PhD Student (1st supervisor).
  • Matthew Applegate, Part-Time PhD Student (2nd supervisor).
  • James Kelly, Part-Time PhD Student (2nd supervisor).

Externally funded research grants information

  • Alibi - Arts Council Northern Ireland grant (CI)
  • Feedback - University of Ulster Access Agreement Fund (CI)
  • Dirty Evangelica - Sectoral Dramaturgy Fund, through the Arts Council Northern Ireland (CI)
  • HEIF5 - Intelligent Questionnaire Methodology (CI)

Professional esteem indicators

Associate Editor in Volume 6, Issue 2 of The International Journal of the Arts in Society.

Journal Refereeing information:
  • Arts in Society
Other Reviewing Activities:
  • Leonardo Special Edition for Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

Case studies

Audience attendance figures (ongoing)

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground/Cascade) 2010-2011:110 performances, to total audience of 46,420.

Theatre Performance (Scattered) 2009-2010:Total audience of 11,834.

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground/Scattered) 2009-2010:23 performances, to total audience of 23,307.

Festival Performances (Chaser/Underground) 2008-2009:46 performances, to total audience of 24,930

The Voyage.  Expected audience of 10,000 over 4 performances.

In 2007 I completed the soundtrack for the Motionhouse piece ‘Perfect’.  Perfect is part of the National GCSE Dance Curriculum in England and Wales from Autumn 2009 and ArtsPool and Motionhouse have created a CD-Rom resource for Perfect, enabling students to explore the piece as one of the GCSE set pieces and the role of the music in the piece.
Sophy Smith

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