25-29 May 2011 'PSi #17: Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience' (Utrecht, NL)

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Performance Studies international / Utrecht University
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Call for Proposals

Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience
Performance Studies international #17

25-29 May 2011, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience combines science, scholarly pursuit and art in a five-day program consisting of lectures, presentations of current research (both theoretical and practical), performances, debates, and workshops. In addition, hybrid program components, or ‘shifts’, introduced by participants or inititiated by the organisers will pave the way to unconventional presentation situations. This PSi conference is an initiative of the Theatre Studies department at Utrecht University and Utrecht’s annual Theatre Festival aan de Werf. The conference will be organized in collaboration with the Utrecht School for the Arts (HKU).

Camillo’s Theatre of Memory is a 16th-century invention meant to allow the spectator access to all existing knowledge via a wooden theatre-shaped construction. Once world-renowned, Camillo’s theatre was forgotten after the death of its inventor, only to make an impressive comeback in the second half of the 20th century as a foreshadowing of both computers and the World Wide Web. Today, technological developments allow more people access to more information than ever before. These technologies alter what and how much can be stored; they also transform how memory is shaped, how what is stored is experienced, how memories become entangled in the here-and-now, and, finally, even the processes of thinking and imagination. Camillo 2.0: Technology, Memory, Experience approaches this co-evolution from the vantage point of performance as a triad of artistic practice, embodiment of culturally specific symbolic systems, and functional technology.
Within this overarching notion the following focal points are distinguished:

Performing memory
The performing arts haves a long history as a memory machine while also functioning as a means for questioning the various processes of individual or collective remembering. What can performance, in both theory and practice, teach us about the relationship between technology, memory, and experience? How do the performing arts give space to intermedial explorations of the possibilities, implications, and consequences of how divergent technologies mediate the way we remember and experience?

Save As
Camillo’s invention took place as developing printing technology allowed for storage of knowledge and information to move outside the brain. Today the ‘performative turn’ and the developments of Web 2.0 make the restrictions of the archive as memory machine tangible and pay homage to the processual, embodied and (inter)active nature of memory. How do performance and notations such as repertoire and performative remains provide a perspective into the possibilities and restrictions of the archive as memory machine? What can we learn, at this point in time, from re-enactment both as performative practice and as a mode of thinking?

Technologies of memory facilitate new psychic entities and objects of belief that, under appropriate circumstances, emerge as self-enunciating entities. Theatre is haunted by such ghosts, but they populate other media as well. How might theatre and performance illuminate how these medial ‘ghosts’ act as agents of memory and experience, both produced by and emerging from media technology?

No Match Found
Contemporary technological developments that allow for endlessly expanding memory storage conceal that memory machines are always simultaneously technologies of forgetting. This forgetting can be traumatic, and can also be part of (conscious or unconscious) strategies of exclusion. It can be an active choice, an act of resistance, or a strategy for survival. How does performance mediate processes of forgetting? How does it focus its attention on that which is not or cannot be remembered (trauma and exclusion); to blind spots, or black holes; to what is lost in translation?

Memory Lab
Presently, science and art (re)connect in exploring the possibilities that new technologies provide in storing and transferring knowledge. Makers, in collaboration with scholars, develop new technological means of archiving and re-experiencing divergent forms of live art. New insights concern not only archival practices but also reflect upon how technology mediates how knowledge and experience are transferred, how we think, and what is considered knowledge. What are the possibilities for and the potential of a renewed collaboration?

A more extensive description of conference themes and topics can be found at www.psi17.org.

The organizing committee of PSi #17 invites proposals for individual papers (20 minute presentations), panels (consisting of 3-4 paper presentations) and ‘shifts’.

Proposals for individual papers should include a 350-word abstract, title, and a 150-word bio of the presenter. Proposals for papers are due October 1, 2010.

Panel proposals and proposals for other discursive formats (roundtable discussions, position papers, etc.) should include a 350-word abstract describing the rationale of the panel, 350-word abstracts and titles of the individual papers (if applicable), and the names and 150-words bios of participants. Proposals for panels are due October 1, 2010.

Continuing the explorations of PSi #15 and #16, we invite proposals for ‘shifts’ i.e., alternative presentational models that push the boundaries of the conference presentation. Shifts take the notion of performance in the broad sense (aesthetic, cultural, durational, etc.) as their organizing principle. They can accommodate a wide range of formats: various kinds of performative presentations, round-table discussions on performances presented, lecture performances, workshops, interactive events, seminars, etc. They are non-conventional investigations into the themes of the conference and are designed to accomplish a higher level of interaction between the conference participants and especially between artistic and theoretical work. Proposals for shifts should include a 350-word description of the proposed events and 150-word bios of the organizers of the proposed shift as well as a clear description of the (technical) facilities required. Proposals for shifts are due October 1, 2010.

All proposals should be submitted online by filling out the submission form at: www.psi17.org by October 1, 2010.
All proposals will be evaluated by the Organizing Committee of PSi # 17 by December 15, 2010.

Questions can be directed to conference manager Laura Karreman (L.L.Karreman@uu.nl). More information can be found at www.psi17.org.

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