Call for Working Group Conveners

Date Published: November 5, 2019
The conveners of the Performance and New Technologies Working Group at TaPRA invite expressions of interest for new conveners to take over after the next interim event in April 2020. Each Working Group has at least two coordinators who self-identify as prospective leaders of the group and are confirmed in role by the TaPRA Executive Committee. The coordinators are responsible for ensuring that the group works in accordance with the overriding purpose, interests and formal rubrics of TaPRA.

The coordinator/s will represent the group’s activities and research outcomes at the annual conference and the AGM. They will run the working group’s programme at the annual conference and may decide to organise interim events between conferences.

The Performance and New Technologies Working Group considers the ways in which new and emergent technologies impact upon contemporary theatre and performance practices. The group’s work concerns digital technologies specifically, although its focus is not limited to a single technological paradigm. Rather, members of the group share research into various technological developments, applications of new or emergent technologies, as well as ways in which theatre/performance adapts existing technologies. The group facilitates a range of approaches, conducting its work through scholarly and practice-based enquiry, with the input of professional practitioners also welcomed.

If you would like to talk informally about the role please contact Jo (, Christina ( or Peter (

Expressions of interest should be sent to by Friday 6th March 2020.

Call for Papers – International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM): Affiliated Issue on Inclusive Intermedialities

Date Published: October 8, 2019
Dear Performance & New Technologies members, Thank you for your contributions to TaPRA 2019, which resulted in a stimulating event. As discussed during the conference in Exeter, we would like to invite those of you who feel that have presented strong papers which can be turned into excellent articles or alternative documents (such as practice-as-research reports or interviews) to submit your work to the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media (IJPADM), which will publish this coming year an Affiliated Issue on Inclusive Intermedialities with the Performance & New Technologies working group. The issue will look back at Performance and New Technologies presentations and discussions from the last two TaPRA conferences (2018 and 2019), including the 2019 interim event at University of South Wales and will focus on the theme of the 2019 call, which was ‘Inclusive Intermedialities’. We are interested in research exploring and reflecting on inclusion, access and new modes of engagement in contemporary intermedial practices. This may include consideration of: · Embedding access and inclusion through new technologies · The ethics of technologically induced empathies · The disjunctures and discomforts enacted in the intersections of human and technological processes · The politics of the global and the local in contemporary postdigital practices. · Expanded scenographies in new intermedial practices · Virtuality and actuality in new intermedial performance · Approaches to conceptualising creative labour in practices which engage with new technologies, such as the ‘outsourcing’ of creative labour to non-human agents · New technologies in performance in the aftermath of the ‘digital revolution’ · Bugs and glitches as aesthetics of disruption and inclusion The deadline for submitting your articles and documents to the journal is 16th December 2019. Please submit your articles online, through the journal’s website: Before you submit your work, please make sure that it follows the journal’s style guidelines as published on the website. A typical paper for this journal should be between 6000 and 8000 words, inclusive of tables, references, figure captions, footnotes, endnotes. Alternative documents can be shorter in length. This is going to be a quick turnaround, with successful articles appearing online and in print in May 2020. The International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media is a double blind peer-review journal published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge). Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions: Christina Papagiannouli: Jo Scott: Piotr (Peter) Woycicki: We look forward to receiving your submissions.

‘Stories of Solitude’ at York Mediale

Date Published: August 16, 2018
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: 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 . 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

Call for contributions for a special issue on Performance and VR Practice from The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

Date Published: May 31, 2018
Dear All, Just to let you know that the submission deadline for contributions for a special issue on Performance and VR Practice from The International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media has now been extended to March 1st 2018. Details are below, but if you need any further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Best wishes, Sophy Sophy Smith Professor of Creative Technologies Practice Institute of Creative Technologies 3.05 Queens Building DeMontfort University Leicester Skype sophy_smith E Twitter @sophysmith Virtual Reality technologies have a long and established history. As Oliver Grau recognizes in his seminal text Virtual Art: From Illusion to Immersion (2003), “the idea of installing an observer in a hermetically closed-off image space of illusion did not make its first appearance with the technical invention of computerised virtual realities. On the contrary, VR forms part of the core of the relationship of humans to images” (Grau, 2003: 4-5). Such is our fascination with creating “illusionary spaces” (ibid.), it is understandable that artists and technologist have spent the last few decades exploring how technologies, such as VR, can enable us to extend beyond our own reality towards immersive and illusionary theatrical experiences. Since the 1980’s, when VR was first used in a performative context, beyond its application in industry, artists and scholars have continued to challenge notions of what is ‘real’ and what is ‘virtual’; they have challenged concepts of transcendence, simulation, immersion, materiality, alternate realities, hybrid or mixed realities to name but a few. The use of VR has therefore been important for opening up perspectives and for developing new performance paradigms. Yet, whilst the use of VR over the last three decades has been focused and rigorous, it has not been as widely adopted as other technological tools (such as gesture/motion-sensing systems or live video and projection mapping systems) have been. This is largely due to practical concerns and the availability of such a complex technology. However, over the last few years, VR technologies have made a reemergence, not only in terms of affordability, but because the continued advances in design and usability are making it increasingly possible for artists to access and explore its potential. In 2017, Sony released the Play Station VR headset, enabling high quality VR technologies to be accessed at home. Google cardboard and other VR -goggles enable users to access VR content through their smartphone and 360 streaming is available on Youtube. In response to this, a greater number of performance practitioners have begun to explore how such VR technologies can be used. For instance, 2017 has a seen the premier of a number of new examples of VR performance work, some made by independent artists and others by established organisations including AoE’s Whist, Boleslavsky? and Júdoká’s Dust (supported by Rambert/V&A), Makropol & Bombina’s The Shared Individual and a new VR film by the English National Ballet, inspired by Akram Khan’s Giselle. As its use continues to increase, this special issue wishes to examine how, and in what ways, VR is continuing to have an impact on current performance works. For example, some artists are using VR technologies to reimagine existing performance work, others to offer new perspectives on performance making, and others who are exploring new relationships with their audiences. This raises a number of interesting and timely questions relating to the impact and influence of VR technologies on creative processes and the nature of the work made – In what ways are current VR technologies helping artists to re-imagine their practice? What new work is being created and is this having an impact on professional performance practice? In what ways have current VR technologies and practices extended concepts such as, transcendence, simulation, immersion, materiality, alternate realities etc? How might the use of VR technologies open up new models and/or possibilities for collaboration between artists and technologists? What new performance environments are being created within VR and how might this change how audiences access and engage with professional performance? How can VR enable audiences to engage with performance work in new ways, both collectively and individually? What can VR offer professional performance practice that a traditional ‘live’ experience cannot? What can we learn from emerging VR practice across other sectors to inform and extend professional performance practice as a whole? We invite full essays of between 5,000 and 8,000 words or artistic position papers of between 2,000 and 3,000 words. We would particularly welcome practice-as-research contributions that experiment with content and form, while maintaining a rigorous enquiry into their disciplinary frameworks. Contributions might consider (but are not limited to) the following topics: • New paradigms of performance offered by VR • Live 360 streaming • Choreographing/directing for VR • VR and the collective experience of performance • Role of the audience/participant in VR performance • Participant experience • Notions of performance • Constructions of narrative • Ethics of VR Performance • VR and theatre design Essays should be formatted according to the Routledge journal style. Submission Information For detailed information on how to submit, visit our ‘Instructions for Authors’ page. DEADLINE: 1st March 2018 Full manuscripts should be submitted online: Publication: Autumn 2018 in Volume 14, Issue 2 Please contact Sophy Smith at <> and/or Kerry Francksen at <> if you have any queries. Guest Editors: Prof. Sophy Smith and Dr Kerry Francksen, Directors of DAPPER (Digital Arts Performance Practice – Emerging Research), De Montfort University.

Perf and New Tech Facebook Page

Date Published: May 31, 2018 Please do join our Facebook group to keep up with working group news. We are also in the process of putting together a Perf and New Tech working group blog. More of that soon…

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