full name / name of organization:
The Hidden City: Mythogeography, Writing, & Site-Specific Performance
Saturday, 4 October 2008
at the University of Plymouth (U.K.)
This one-day symposium will interrogate the varieties of, and
possibilities for, writing in a site-specific performance practice that
addresses the multiple narratives and trajectories of the city.
Mythogeography is the theorisation of an experimental approach to the site
of performance as a space of multiple layers. This approach might include
numerous influences and strategies, perhaps including the atmospheres and
effects of psychogeography, and the deployment (both analogical and
direct) of geological, archaeological and historiographical ideas and
methods. It is self-reflexive in the sense that it would regard the
performer as a similarly multiplicitous site.
Mythogeography is not a finished model, neither in its theoretical nor
practical forms. It is a general approach which emphasises hybridity, but
does not attempt to determine what combination of elements might be in
The concept and practice arose from the work of Wrights & Sites as the
company found itself working in sharply contested spaces, often jostling
monocular â€˜heritageâ€™, commercial or municipal interpretations. In response
they developed different mythogeographical approaches, learning and
drawing from many past and contemporary artists of site, including Fluxus,
Mike Pearson, and Fiona Templeton.
The intention of the symposium is not to interrogate any one
mythogeographical approach, nor even to engage with the concept (which,
intentionally, offers nothing unique or original), but rather to discuss
general principles and actual practices of multiple layering and hybridic
assemblage of site and performer in relation to the act of writing site-
While the everyday â€œperformingâ€ of the city is a widely accepted discourse
in urban geography, so performance makers have increasingly engaged with
urbanist ideas â€“ from the situationists, through de Certeau to Doreen
Masseyâ€™s theories of urban space. â€œThe Hidden Cityâ€ symposium will review
this relationship through performance writing, exploring what other
discourses are available to the writer in the contemporary city. It will
draw on a continuum of urban site-based performance writing: from site-
inspired play texts and site-specific theatre, through the re-writing of
the everyday, to delicate, de-materialised interventions. Questions to be
addressed might include:
Â· How does the performance writer address the cityâ€™s invisible,
marginalised and esoteric sites?
Â· What are the possibilities for writing sited in urban site-
specific performance right now?
Â· Is there a continuum on which both urban new theatre writing and
site-specific practice both sit?
Â· How does the performance writer address the screens and stages
of the image-drenched city?
Proposals for papers (20 minutes in length) that address the conference
themes are now invited. Performative papers are most welcome. Subjects
that papers could address include:
Â· The city and site-specificity.
Â· The performance writer and the urban site.
Â· Urban walking and performance.
Â· Writing and urbanism.
Â· Writing as an urban performance.
Â· Mythogeography and psychogeography.
Â· Multiplicity and performing the city.
Â· Writing, performance and the urban everyday.
Â· Hidden theatres in the city.
Â· The esoteric city and the exoteric performance.
Â· Writing for site-specific theatre in the city.
Proposals should be no longer than 350 words in length and should
additionally include any technical, spatial or resource requirements as
well as a brief biographical note (100 words maximum). They should be sent
to Roberta Mock (roberta.mock_at_plymouth.ac.uk) & Phil Smith
(perform.smith_at_ukgateway.net) by 14 April 2008.
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Received on Tue Mar 04 2008 - 12:49:38 EST