[artinfo] UC Riverside: Call for Papers

Carol Hobson 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, 
more intuitive.

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 
is secured.

      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:

Renee Coulombe
Assistant Professor
Department of Music
U.C. Riverside
Riverside, CA 92501
rcoulomb at ucr.edu


Derek A. Burrill
Assistant Professor
Department of Dance
U.C. Riverside
Riverside, CA 92501
derekb at ucr.edu

Renee T. Coulombe
Assistant Professor, Music Theory and Composition
Faculty Coordinator for Music, Gluck Fellowship Program
Music Department
140 Arts
UC Riverside
Riverside, CA  92521
phone: 909.787.2176
fax: 909.787.4651
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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