No Way Out: Theatre as a Mediatised Practice – London, 20-21 April 2017

No Way Out: Theatre as a Mediatised Practice

TaPRA Performance & New Technologies Interim Event

Birkbeck University of London & London South Bank University, April 20th & 21st

[please scroll down for registration details]

Mediatisation – the increasingly pervasive influence of new media technologies in the form of social institutions and ideological apparatuses on society, culture and consciousness since the late twentieth century – has radically shaped our everyday lives and relationships. Mediatisation as a social and cognitive phenomenon has changed the way theatre and performance are produced, shaped, performed and perceived. This shift has led to a state where there is nothing left outside of mediatisation. Hence, we argue, all contemporary theatre and performance today is mediatised.

The mediatised theatre and performance of the 21st century propose a practice, and offer ground for the development of a scholarship, in which ontological boundaries between media and performance, live and mediatised, analogue and digital, are no longer useful or even possible to consider. Mediatisation lies within the aesthetic and political [un]consciousness of the works, whichever form or manifestation those choose to take. It is, directly or implicitly, embedded within their architectures, dynamics, and processes; we might even argue that, in some ways, mediatisation is the works.

This two-day event seeks to investigate the processes and practices of mediatised theatre and performance in the 21st century with a particular interest in such questions as: How does the mediatised theatre and performance of the 21st century engage with digital culture and labour as, partly, products of capitalist ideology and economy? Is there potential for resistance (in the wider understanding of the term) within theatre as a mediatised practice? Or, to use Stiegler’s analogy, can theatre and performance approach the digital as a pharmakon in order to engender social ‘remedy’, opening up critical spaces for resistance and dissensus in contemporary neoliberal culture?

Organised and chaired by: Dr Maria Chatzichristodoulou (LSBU) & Dr Seda Ilter (Birkbeck)

Event Schedule

Day One

Birkbeck – Thursday 20th April
Room G10, 43 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

Registration from 10:30am

11am – Welcome & Introduction – Dr Seda Ilter (Birkbeck)

11:15 – Keynote by Prof. Matthew Causey (Trinity Dublin): The Earth as Data Farm for the Virtual World and the Techno-performative, Post-digital Art of John Gerrard

John Gerrard, is an internationally recognised Irish artist working in Dublin and Vienna best known for his digital simulations using real-time computer graphics. Gerrard’s work engages a techno-performativity that uniquely represents the current challenges (anthropocene) to our climate and environment and the potential of art and performance to articulate those issues within a post-digital condition. My talk will draw on Heidegger’s questions regarding the nature of art and technology in order to consider the post-digital moment which is witness to growing indisctinctions between the virtual and real, between the organic and the technological. In these zones of indistinction how is it that art might indicate our historical community’s sense of ‘what is’ and ‘what matters’.

12:30 – 1:30 – Lunch Break

1:30-3pm – Panel: Post–digital Resistance
Dr Rosemary Klich (Kent): Performing the Material Modality of Media
Dr Stella Keramida (Independent): Mediatisation as Resistance in the Work of Contemporary Theatre Directors
Dr Aneta Mancewicz (Kingston): Coming Together as a Public: Dries Verhoeven’s No Man’s Land and Ontroerend Goed’s Fight Night
Dr Tarryn Li-Min Chun (Michigan): Mediatised Theatre in a Surveillance State: Wang Chong and Contemporary Chinese Performance

3-3:30 – Coffee Break

3:30- 5pm – Postgraduate Panel
Bahar Ilg?n Türköz (Trinity Dublin)
Annette Balaam (Bristol): Performing the Machine
Benjamin Monk (Kent): From / To a Theatre Near You! The Mediatised, Screened Theatre as Convergent Transmedia
Armando F. Pinho (Minho), Cristina Mendanha (Porto), Gabriela Barros (Arte Total Cia.), David Ramalho (Arte Total Cia.): Emergence of New Modes of Artistic Creation and Writing Techniques for Postdigital Performances, Through Practice-as-Research Methodologies: Demonstration of a Portuguese Experience

5:15-6pm – A Closing Provocation
Prof. Janis Jefferies (Goldsmiths): Performance as Provocation

6pm – Close –

Day Two

London South Bank University (LSBU) – Friday 21st April
Edric Theatre, 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA

Registration from 9:15am

9:45 Welcome and Introduction – Dr Maria Chatzichristodoulou (LSBU)

10am – Keynote by Prof. Andy Lavender (Warwick): Power, Populism and Performance: Producing Post-truths in Neoliberalism’s New Illiberalism

In this presentation, I consider the relationship between public discourse, mediation and representation (understood both as democratic process and the conveyance of ideas) with reference to the ‘Leave’ campaign regarding the EU referendum in the UK and the Trump presidential campaign in the USA. I draw on ideas from theatre and performance studies to examine how specific notions and policies were articulated and positioned in the public sphere, and how these were reverberated both as expressions of a popular voice and in order to capture a popular vote. Who, here, are ‘the people’, and how do they speak? I consider the ways in which both campaigns staged a ‘post-truth’ politics in which utterances of seeming facts were variously rhetorical, theatrical and hyper-literal, whilst contributing to the affective charge of the respective campaign and its emotional and ideological persuasion. I examine how each campaign can be viewed in terms of a neoliberal agenda that is also paradoxically illiberal, involving calls for constraints of various kinds and dramatizing these in diverse ways. In all this, I consider how paradigms from theatre and performance studies can help to explain how both campaigns achieved success supposedly against the odds, in part through the way in which their respective ideas were produced in and through mediatisation. The residue of both victories is a plethora of images, soundbites and sequences that bespeak the theatricalised and highly mediated nature of their production.

11:15 – Break

11:30am – 1pm- Panel: Temporal Cracks, Spatial Dislocations and Reproducibility
Dr Swen Steinhauser (Manchester Metropolitan): Leap Into the Void: Exposing the Temporal Crack of the Present
Dr Ed Vollans (Middlesex & Anglia Ruskin): Is Theatre Going Down the YouTube?
Claire Read (Roehampton)
Dr Liam Jarvis (Essex /Analogue): The Ethics of Mislocalized Selfhood: Proprioceptive Drifting Towards the Virtual Other
1-3pm – Lunch break with performance /installation demo’s
Jeannette Ginslov (LSBU): Five Key Words: Memory, Porosity, Dialogical, Augmented Reality, Screendance
Dr Nuno Salihbegovic (LSBU): CYBERAMA: A Proposal for a Total Theatre of the ‘Digital Today’
Dr Johnmichael Rossi (newFangled theatReR): ‘Playwrighting’ as Curatorial Practice in Digital Spaces of Reading and Writing
3-4:30pm – Panel: Mediatised Practice on Page and Stage: New Tools, New Ecologies
Dr Christophe Collard (Vrije Brussels): Ecological Scenography, or Staging Mediatised Entanglements
Dr Maria Kapsali (Leeds): Finding a Way Out from Within: Intra and Extra-Organic Tools in Performer Training Practice
Prof. David Houston Jones (Exeter): Kathryn Smith and the Practices of Forensic Performance: from Jack in Johannesburg to Incident Room
4:30pm – Wine reception and Book launch: Intermediality and Spectatorship in the Theatre Work of Robert Lepage: the Solo Shows by Aristita I. Albacan (2016, Cambridge Scholars Publishing)
Aristita Albacan in Conversation with Prof. Christopher Balme (Munich, Leverhulme Visiting Professor CDDS London)

6pm – Close –




REGISTRATION is £40 for 2 days or £25 per day. Concessions: £30 for 2 days or £15 per day. Non TaPRA members will be charged an extra £10 membership cost. The cost includes lunch, coffee break and wine reception on second day.