29 October 2007

Call for papers: Performance and the City

Call for papers: Performance and the City

A special issue of International Journal of Arts and Technology

This special issue seeks long- and short-form submissions exploring historical and contemporary relationships between live performance and the city, especially those prompted or mediated by technological development.

"[W]ith the first great expansion of civilization: instead of an explosion of power, there was an implosion. The city was the container that brought about this implosion, and through its very form held together the new forces, intensified their internal reactions, and raised the whole level of achievement… [T]he city exhibited an ambivalent character it has never wholly lost: it combined the maximum amount of protection with the greatest incentives to aggression: it offered the widest possible freedom and diversity, yet imposed a drastic system of compulsion and regimentation…" (L. Mumford, 1961)

"What I call 'guerrilla theater' for instance, can respond immediately. Some people call it living theater, some people call it newspaper theater. Whatever it is, street theater, it can respond immediately to both events and the changing pattern of events. It responds to the dynamics of any situation... [T]heater, because of its nature, both text, images, multimedia effects, has a wider base of communication with an audience." (W. Soyinka, 1998)

Technology drives (and can reveal) the rhythms of our cities. It modulates information flow, mediates our rituals and is in the midst of some of our most essential invitations to be together: urban public space and live performance. Performance has been vitalized by technology at times and rightly shunned it at others. It is employed to reinforce and defy dominant local powers. More often than not, it mixes these "opposites”, as in the sanctioned transgressions of street carnivals or uses of technology so expensive they require patronage even for works challenging accepted concepts of innovation and progress.

From artists, technologists, historians and planners, cultural geographers, and those of liminal spaces in-between, IJART seeks original writings that probe how two significant crystallizations of human life, performance and the city, interact despite, through, and with technology. Submissions can explore a particular group of artistic works, technologies, urban places, or time periods as they relate to these themes. They could also provide a broader analysis weaving together multiple threads of urban history, science and technology, or cultural theory. Each submission should be written in a way that is accessible to the multidisciplinary audience of the journal.

Important Dates
Abstract (optional): 3 December, 2007
Paper submission: 21 January, 2008
Acceptance notification: 10 March, 2008
Camera ready papers due: 21 April, 2008

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