Guest Editor: Sebastian Samur
Issue #25 (Summer 2022) of Critical Stages/Scènes critiques, will be dedicated to the exploration of new possibilities emerging from Human-Technology encounters in Performance.
Under COVID-19 pandemic conditions, theatre and performance practitioners have experienced a forced shift into the digital realm. Subsequent experimentation and adaptations have produced mixed results. Technologies can be cold, cumbersome, and alienating. At the same time, they also present new possibilities for performance – potentially on a global scale. In her recent book Digital Theatre (2020), Nadja Masura has written on technology’s ability to extend the performer’s body and increase expressivity. The statement reflects a Merleau-Pontian extension as the human body becomes enmeshed in the technological world.
Prior to the pandemic, technology was already frequently used to extend the performer’s possibilities, through, for example, Marie Brassard’s work with voice modulation, Ivo Van Hove’s projection designs, or the use of robot performance in Rimini Protokoll’s, Uncanny Valley (2018). The pandemic has propelled intermedial work further, with works such as Scott Silven’s live-stream illusionism, which responds to both artists’ and audiences’ continued thirst for creation.
This issue aims to highlight recent experiments in human-technology interfacing on professional stages and in academia.
- What new forms of intermedial performance are emerging?
- What strategies have proven effective in extending the performer through technology?
- How are practitioners working to bridge the practices of performers and technology designers? And
- How are artists taking inspiration from performers to anthropomorphize technology?
We welcome essays, reflections, reports on current work, and performance analysis that may touch on (but are not limited to) the following subjects:
- Performance productions and experiments extending performer practice through new technologies, such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, projections, holograms, drone technology, vocal modulation, motion capture and other interactive technologies;
- Performer training techniques that aim to improve working methods with new technologies;
- Innovative live-stream adaptations to COVID-19 pandemic conditions;
- Experiments with technological puppeteering, where performers, designers or technicians perform with or through new technologies;
- Ventures into metal performance and anthropomorphizing technology through the use of robots or other simulated actors;
- Performing via online and/or video game avatars.
Length of submission: 4500 words max. For inquiries or to submit abstract proposals please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an online, peer reviewed journal, we are especially interested in promoting multimedia content to showcase intermedial experiments. We encourage you to include photo, video, and/or other digital content samples as part of your abstract submission.
Proposals (abstracts 300 words plus 50-word biography): 1 August, 2021
First drafts: 1 October, 2021
Final drafts: 15 February, 2022
Publication: June 2022
Sebastian X Samur is a performer and SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council) doctoral fellow at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies (University of Toronto). His primary research interest is actor training. Herecently completed a project analyzing rhythm in the work of SITI Company, Dairakudakan and Mime Omnibus. His work has also regularly included research on intermedial forms, including movement with projections, motion capture performance, medical simulation, voice modulation, virtual reality, and video games. His writing can be found in Theatre Research in Canada, Asian Theatre Journal, Canadian Theatre Review, Stanislavski Studies, and Jeu, among other publications.