Digital Communities and Cloud Spaces: Arts for a Networked World
Call for Book Chapters for Edited Volume
“Digital Communities and Cloud Spaces: Arts for a Networked World”
Of all the forms, theater is the one that engages most intimately with an audience. The spectacle of drama is an expression of a lived reality as much as it is a suggestion of ethics-what is and what could have been. Yet, the formation of the dramatic art is also centrally governed by socio-political circumstances, the troubled history of a race and the newer forms of production -cultural, social and industrial. While such engagements are/were common from the days of Aristotle and even afterwards in postmodern times, the location of dramatic oeuvre was/is centrally fixed sometimes in the wishes of the people/the commons in Shakespeare’s age or else with the Brechtian proletariats. The purpose was/is always to question the assumptions of history and social formations. With India, in a postcolonial age the idea of theatre was both a matter of social reconnaissance of a troubled colonial past, as much an assertion of ethnic identity or more to reconstruct an idea of a nation on shared geography and common values. When the emergency was declared in 1970’s in India, performance artists, journalists, writers and activists voiced their concern at what they believed were obfuscations to the liberty of people. Movements to the left of the center organized protest marches despite great risks against the government machinery. But, with an emergency like Covid 19, theater and performance arts seems to have been stymied or at least ‘locked’ within digital spaces, which are controlled, managed and monitored by big corporations-where governments are almost absent. This is an area of crisis-the crisis of a digital age and the possibilities of the arts being compromised either for space or recognition. One comes across such terms as the ‘watch party’ or ‘facebook live,’ when scholars, musicians and drama artists must ‘wait’ to be connected. While this means that there is a large viewership waiting for such performances, there is also the possibility that highbrow artists must compete against more popular performers who do not care for the norm. More recent ‘apps’ like ‘tik-tok’ even allow amateurish performances to the accompaniment of trained professional musicians with the aid of a digital ‘cut.’ Some people call such performances a challenge to ‘nepotism,’ which in recent times led to the death of one of India’s prominent actors. Unfortunately, for the folk artists who had been otherwise in poor financial shape anyway, the digitization of performances has been a death knell with puppetry artists etc staring against a bleak ‘nowhere’ unsupported by governments. Does this mean that the performance artists will be more marginalized now than ever before? Or can governments seize control of digital spaces despite a major thrust towards privatization? Who will be the new audience and new performers now and who will pay anyway? Is it possible that new media platforms challenge nepotism and what some scholars call ‘fascism’ of the rich and powerful? Can the arts resist or shape up against comsumer fetish? Or can we expect something radical-the likes of Newton's optics?
Original and unpublished research articles are invited (but not restricted to) the following areas:
- Digital media and the performing spaces: Who is in control?
- Folk arts, pandemic and the future: Is there a future anyway?
- New ‘apps’ and media platforms: Making Arts democratic.
- Mixing is bad: What’s in store for the arts of the highbrow?
- Webinars, Theater Arts the Imagined Community.
- Quarantine centers, hushed voices and the new democracy. How can writers/performers respond?
- Avant Guard, bio-terrorism and the future of sustainability.
- Archiving and the digital commons.
- Performing arts and the negotiation of Consumerism.
Articles should follow the latest APA style format. Full papers should be around 4000-5000 words including notes and biography. An abstract of 150 words along with a brief biography should accompany the paper. However, abstract and biography has to be sent in a separate MS word file. Please send the papers within 17th September, 2020 at firstname.lastname@example.org
For general queries and submissions, feel free to get in touch with the editor:
Dr Saurav Sengupta
Assistant Professor of English, Damdama College, Guwahati-781012 at the email given above.. Alternatively you may mail at email@example.com.
Please visit www.damdamacollege.edu.in for details.