‘Stories of Solitude’ at York Mediale

Dear Performance and New Technologies TaPRA members, I am organsing a conference on 3rd October entitled ‘Stories of Solitude: Performance, Technology and Digital Overload’ as part of the first York Mediale. You can find more information about the event and Mediale in the link below: https://yorkmediale.com/share-ym/events/stories-of-solitude Briefly about the event: Stories of Solitude – Performance, Technology and Digital Overload is an interdisciplinary artistic, curatorial and academic symposium held in partnership by York Mediale and Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou from York St John University.  The idea behind this event is inspired by and also departs from the renowned social psychologist and Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of the Social Studies and Science and Technology at MIT, Sherry Turkle and her sentiment that a constant hunger for technology is preventing people from embracing solitude, an imperative state that “refreshes and restores.”The programme will explore the artistic, social and philosophical potential of solitude, as well as the challenging experiences of loneliness and isolation in different contexts of our digital reality with a highly regarded national and international line-up of curators, academics and artists, including Leeds based innovative art studio Invisible Flock; Maaike Bleeker, Professor of Theatre Studies at Utrecht University, Netherlands; Matthew Causey, Professor in Drama and  Director of the Arts Technology Research Laboratory at Trinity College Dublin; Natalie Kane, curator of Digital Design, Victoria & Albert Museum; Lisa Bortolotti, Professor and philosopher of the cognitive sciences and Valeria Motta, postdoctoral researcher at the University of Birmingham, multi-award winning artist Shannon Yee; Estela Oliva, creative director and curator; Zeena Feldmann, Lecturer in Digital Culture at King’s College London; Sebastian Deterding, designer and senior research fellow at the Digital Creative Labs at the University of York, Shaun Lawson, Professor of Social Computing at Northumbria University, Jude Brereton, Senior Lecturer in Audio and Music Technology at the University of York, and Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe, artistic and creative directors of fanSHEN. The conference delegates will have the opportunity to experience a recent performance by Lundahl & Seitl entitled ‘Unknown Cloud’. Throughout the day, a series of provocations will consider the role of solitude in relation to the increasingly critical themes of engagement through social media and immersive environments, human/computer interaction, digital detox, singularity, gaming, health and more. The contributors will discuss amongst others: the modes of (dis)engagement between humans, smart objects and robots; the connections between technology, pathology and health care; the use of non-anthromorphic robots in art; the exploration of ethical questions posed by AI and robotics; VR practices and new spaces of (in)voluntary isolation, and other topics. For more information about other mediale events, please see yorkmediale.com/events . I would be really delighted if you are available to attend. I would really appreciate it if you could circulate this information to your departments or any colleagues that you think may be interested. Many thanks Best Wishes, Eirini Dr. Eirini Nedelkopoulou Associate Professor in Theatre & PerformanceYork St John University

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