[artinfo] CfP: Performance & New Technologies

Maria Chatzichristodoulou M.Chatzichristodoulou at hull.ac.uk
Wed Mar 18 17:09:14 CET 2015

Dear colleagues,

We now invite submission of papers and proposals for the Performance 
and New Technologies Working Group at TaPRA, University of Worcester, 
8th to 10th September 2015. Please don't hesitate to contact us with 
any questions. We look forward to seeing you there.
Digital Memory and Techno-nostalgia: Remembering / Dismembering Performance

Call Deadline: 17 April 2015

The ephemeral nature of live performance has always forced 
practitioners, critics and notaries to consider ways of committing 
performance to memory. The act of remembering itself was first 
expressed through theatrical means by Giulio Camillo and his memory 
theatre - giving birth to a performative technology, a mnemo-technic 
reliant on the theatrical frame. The commitment of the ephemeral act 
to memory most often happens through technological means, which in 
the digital era produce audio-visual traces that can appear to lend 
some objectivity in the act of remembrance. If technology defines how 
we remember live performance, then performances are re-membered -and 
thus reconstructed- through the lens of those technologies dominant 
at their times. The digital times we inhabit entail an inevitable 
commitment of ephemeral acts to the im/materialities of the digital; 
but how do our ever-prolific digital memories alter the ways we 
remember performance? And what new technologies affect memory, either 
as mnemonic, or as the means by which to adapt, extend or develop the 
way we recollect and what is re-membered?

The past is a place for both recollection and re-imagination with no 
same version of the past evident. Nevertheless, until recently, 
records of live performances would more often be linear narratives, 
canonical in viewpoint, and restricted to archival use. Digital 
technologies and mobile networks allow immediate and wide access to 
technologies of recording, storage and retrieval, which enable 
participation in the creation of individual and shared memories, and 
challenge the canonicity of performance records. For this reason, 
digital encounters with the past tend to intersect recollection with 
story-telling, often relating the sameevents and circumstances 
through multi-voiced narratives that offer supplementary or competing 
perspectives. We invite participants to reflect on emergent digital 
story-telling techniques and intermedial modes of narration as 
practices of performance documentation. When everyone becomes a 
potential archivist of performance acts, performance documents cease 
to be linear, authorial narratives; instead, they become the 
micro-documents of multiple, fragmented experiences. How can we, 
individually and collectively, remember, narrate and re-enact 
performance through its digital detritus? How can we tap into the 
richness of multiplicity afforded by 'heritage from below' practices 
(Robertson, 2012) without 'dismembering' the actual performance act?

Furthermore, as digital technologies become ever more dominant in our 
daily lives facilitating and complicating them in equal measure, 
there is an increasing trend to look back to technologies of the past 
with some nostalgia. Nostalgia, from the Greek nostoV (nostos, return 
home) and algoV (algos, pain), denotes the yearning to return to an 
experience of place or community that has been lost. A 'homesickness 
of sorts', it suggests 'an attempt by actors in the present to return 
to a comfortable and ideal setting.' (Pinch and Reinecke in 
Bjisterveld and van Dijck, 2009:166) Recently, technonostalgia is 
being expressed through looking back at analogue technologies as 
objects and processes of desire, through 'excursions into vintage 
gear' (ibid). The nostalgic return is bound by horizons of 
melancholy, sentiment, menace, and emotion. We ask, what is the 
affective potential of mnemonic devices- digitised photographs, 
social networks, sounds, music, video, graphics, words, and somas - 
and of 'excursions' into old media? What new combinations bring about 
shifts in the emotional temperature of our search for times lost, and 
how do those affect performance memories?

This Call invites contributors to consider how we remember both 
performance and technology, as well as performance through 
technology, in a digital era. Proposals might consider the following 
issues, though these are not exclusive:

   *   Remembering Performance through Technology
   *   Remembering Technology in Performance
   *   Performance and Digital Memory / Re-collection
   *   Collecting Ephemeral Acts / Performance and Digital Archives
   *   Performance and Techno-nostalgia
   *   Documentation Devices and Methods Intersecting Analogue and Digital
   *   Heritage from Below and Performance Legacies
   *   The Materiality of Performance Memory
   *   Documenting Somatic Memories
   *   Dismembering /Forgetting /Erasing Performance
   *   Sound-theatres and Auditory Spaces of Memory
   *   Performance Memory and Affect

This year, the Performance and New Technologies Working Group will be 
collaborating with the Performance and Documentation Working Group by 
holding a joint session, due to common interests. If you believe your 
paper/presentation is most appropriate for this session please state 
so. Please note that final decisions will be made by working group 

Please send a 300 word proposal, a short biographical statement, and 
an outline of technical requirements by 17th April to both Maria 
Chatzichristodoulou, M.Chatzi at hull.ac.uk and Jeremy Kelly, 
Jem.Kelly at bucks.ac.uk

Proposals, if accepted, may be directed into a range of 
presentational formats: traditional panels (with 20 minute papers); 
pre-circulated papers that form the basis for a short presentation 
and discussion; or, where appropriate, performance-based panels. 
While we welcome statements of preference, final decisions will be 
made by the working group convenors and will be indicated at the time 
of acceptance. We welcome alternative, practice-as-research or 
performative proposals that engage rigorously with the theme, but 
these must be achievable with limited resources and within a 20-30 
minute time period.

The Working Group also warmly welcomes participants who do not wish 
to present a paper this year.

The convenors of the Performance and New Technologies Working Group 
are Maria Chatzichristodoulou, Jeremy Kelly and Martin Blain.

Please note: Only one proposal may be submitted for the TaPRA 2015 
Conference. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or 
submit the same proposal to several Calls for Papers. All presenters 
must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the conference; this 
includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even 
where the presenter may not physically attend the conference venue. 
If your paper has been accepted, yet you have not registered for the 
Conference by the final registration deadline of 14 August 2015, we 
will deem you no longer intend to participate and present at TaPRA 


Dr Maria Chatzichristodoulou

Lecturer in Performance and New Media
Programme Leader MA by Research & PhD in Theatre and Performance
Disability, Equality and Diversity Tutor
School of Drama, Music and Screen
University of Hull

Room: Loten L104
Cottingham Road
Hull, HU6 7RX, UK

T. +44 (0) 1482 465076


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