Analogue-Digital-Postdigital Performance Practices

Deadline: Thursday 13 April 2017

Drawing on notions such as the ‘off-internet’, ‘neo-analogue’, post-internet and postdigital, David Berry and Michael Dieter argue that we are shifting from ‘an earlier moment driven by an almost obsessive fascination and enthusiasm with new media to a broader set of affectations that now includes unease, fatigue, boredom and disillusionment’ (2015: 5). Matthew Causey uses the term ‘postdigital performance’ to discuss a shift to ‘a social system fully familiarized and embedded in electronic communications and virtual representations’, where the prefix, ‘post’ reflects ‘the overdetermined relations, circulations, and exchanges of those phenomena within the current condition’ (2016: 432). In this context, what does it mean to make performance, which deliberately engages with ‘new media’, in its creation and presentation? What is postdigital performance and is the idea of the postdigital a useful way of understanding shifts in current culture and practice?

Following on from the interim event ‘No Way Out: Theatre as a Mediatised Practice’, the aim of the 2017 call is to engage with the forms and intentions of current mediatised performance practices and how they might productively reflect and refract the norms of embedded digital practices. The Performance and New Technologies Working Group welcomes practice-based responses, provocations, lecture-demonstrations and papers, exploring and reflecting on the making of live performance in an era which could be termed ‘postdigital’. Proposals may respond to, but are not limited by, the following prompts:

  • ‘Thinking digitally’ in performance through practice 
  • The analogue and digital in performance
  • Asynchronicity and multidimensionality
  • The transmedial and trans-identities
  • Bugs and glitches, malware and hacking, copy and paste
  • The reality of the virtual in performance
  • Digital and postdigital performance practices
  • ‘New media’ cultural approaches to ‘old media’
  • Current practice as research in digital and other mediatised performance-making

(drawn from Cramer 2015 and Causey 2016)

Please email all abstracts (no more than 300 words in length), an additional few sentences of biographical information and precise details of the audio-visual technology you will need to make your presentation to Jem Kelly – Jem.Kelly@Bucks.ac.uk, Christina Papagiannouli – christina.papagiannouli@southwales.ac.uk and Jo Scott – j.e.scott@salford.ac.uk. The deadline for the submission of proposals is Thursday 13 April 2017.

Proposals, if accepted, may be directed into a range of presentational formats, including traditional panels (with 20 minute papers), short provocations that can form the basis for wider discussion or performance-based panels. While we welcome statements of preference, final decisions will be made by the working group conveners and will be indicated at the time of acceptance. We welcome alternative, practice-as-research or performance-based proposals that engage 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.

Please note: only one proposal may be submitted for a TaPRA event. It is not permitted to submit multiple proposals or submit the same proposal to several Calls for Participation. All presenters must be TaPRA members, i.e. registered for the event; this includes presentations given by Skype or other media broadcast even where the presenter may not physically attend the event venue.

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