[artinfo] UC Riverside: Call for Papers
chobson at ucsd.edu
Thu Oct 7 10:48:36 CEST 2004
"Would You Like to Play A Game?: Improvisation in the Land of
Technology, whether considered in its material dimension, as a set
of practices, or as a social force, is often associated with notions of
stability, fixity and objectivity. This is due in part to what
humans/users have come to expect from a technological interaction -
reliability, articulation, speed, relationality. In particular, how the
subject forms an emotional and invested companionship with their technology
of choice. Does your computer have a name? Your car? Do you answer
technologies when they interpolate you? How do you react when the
technology 'fails' you? These expectations, desires and manipulations are
often sold to us in the digital realm as more intelligent, more effortless,
However, notions of improvisation and play drive a great deal of
interaction with digital technology, confounding and complicating the
expectations of user and producer. These improvisations can be intentional
(onstage, a performer acts and reacts to visual or audio material), or
accidental (pushing buttons randomly on a device until it works); it can be
bounded (theatre) or unfettered (online searches); it can be reactive (a
videogamer working out a difficult task) or productive (a program). And
because of all of these conflations and problems, improvisation would
ostensibly seem to be a 'wrench in the works.' Improvisation, in many
modes, attempts to foreground practice over product, ephemera over
reproduction, and by doing so challenges institutions that rely on
consumption as a fixed and inherently ideological activity. Perhaps most
important in the collision of these two worlds is that through this
collision each world is changed. This collection seeks to question
assumptions regarding the nature of both technology and improvisation, as a
means of reaction, recontextualization and reconstitution.
Possible questions to address:
- What is improvisation? How does improvisation alter the
epistemology of technology, and vice-versa?
- What are the politics of improvisation with technology?
- How do gender, sexuality and ethnicity come into play?
- How does the ontological status of technology/improvisation alter
and inflect our biology and our (re)production of digital technologies?
- Where are the 'points of illusion' that act as purveyors of these
changes and transformations?
- Is improvisation possible in digital worlds?
- What is technological improvisation?
- How is generated or non-generated randomness accounted for?
- What are the historical relationships between the two?
- Where will the future take us?
- What kinds of improvisational technological experiences can we
At root, this collection seeks to inspect relationships between
various forms of improvisation and how digital technologies can
problematize, enrich and extend these practices. A wide range of
approaches and methodologies, both in improvisation, technological
implementation and in the discursive strategies used to write about these
practices are encouraged. Possible topics and fields of interest
include: technology in performance, music and art, hypertext, computer
graphics and engineering, online or internet practices, video gaming,
robotics, informatics, and other areas intersecting the fields of digital
technologies and improvisation. The authors are currently proposing this
edited volume to publishers and will notify contributors when the contract
Abstracts should be 500 words in length. Papers should be formatted
according to MLA standards, including endnotes and
bibliography. Submissions should be received by December 1, 2004 for
consideration. Please send abstract or completed paper and short bio as
attachments by email to:
Department of Music
Riverside, CA 92501
rcoulomb at ucr.edu
Derek A. Burrill
Department of Dance
Riverside, CA 92501
derekb at ucr.edu
Renee T. Coulombe
Assistant Professor, Music Theory and Composition
Faculty Coordinator for Music, Gluck Fellowship Program
Riverside, CA 92521
email: renee.coulombe at ucr.edu
European Booking information: http://www.agency79.com
Guest Composer, Spectrum Press: http://www.spectrumpress.coms
Apologies for cross-postings. cjh
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