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International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media

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International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media: Artificial Intelligence and Contemporary Performance: Developing an Arts & Humanities Approach to AI

Manuscript deadline
01 July 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Piotr Woycicki (contact with enquiries and proposed articles), Aberystwyth University
[email protected]

Favour Borokini, University of Nottingham
[email protected]

Alan Chamberlain, University of Nottingham
[email protected]

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International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media: Artificial Intelligence and Contemporary Performance: Developing an Arts & Humanities Approach to AI

This special issue is inspired by and based on the research which emerged from the AHRC research network ‘Theatre, A.I. and ‘Ludic Technologies’ nTA.I.L. The focus of the issue is to investigate the two related, yet distinct fields of contemporary performance, and artificial intelligence from the perspective of human centred interaction and artistic practice. We feel that this perspective has often been omitted from the current discussions and academic discourses on A.I. and thus this timely special issue will aim to address this gap in the research literature. We also feel that in our current post-digital age, there is scope, novelty and timeliness in taking this interdisciplinary research approach, in particular when considering how contemporary artistic practices can question our relationship with newly emerging technologies.

Contemporary performance is a diverse area of research, specifically in terms of its aesthetic, historical, social and political contexts. What particularly interests us are the discourses on performativity, technology and theatricality, and the most recent theoretical developments in these areas which relate to discourses around A.I. and its applications in contemporary performance. We are interested in contemporary practices which critically question our relationship with new media technologies and A.I. and the ways in which these both intertwine and disrupt established performance-based disciplines, such music, dance and theatre. Understanding these artistic practices will help us to further investigate the implications and impact of emergent technologies and our interaction with A.I. design within the Arts.

A.I. as a research field is a rapidly developing area in terms of its technological development and its application in the Arts. A.I. could be generically defined as any autonomous system that can make decisions under uncertainty. This generic characteristic of A.I. to ‘judge’, ‘reason’ and act upon reality, independently of human beings has captured the publics’ imagination (and often nightmares), making us reflect on the myriad implications of its current application and use in the future. Current discourses on A.I. are often theoretical and concerned with the future implications of A.I. in terms of the ethics of: labour, medical science, warfare, education etc. We would like to move away from technological and science fiction discourses on A.I. and locate A.I. within a more humanistic and artistic framework, looking towards the creative application of A.I., which underpin A.I.’s integration within the post-digital social sphere. This is where we feel discourses on theatricality and performative engagement with A.I. may prove productive and lead to innovative understandings of the area. We feel that understanding A.I. in terms of its creative application will contribute to a greater understanding of how these new technologies will impact social and cultural development in the future.

We would like to invite submissions in the following areas and responding to the following prompts, but not necessarily exclusive to:

  • A.I. as a means for staging provocations and provocative design
  • A.I. and music creation & performance
  • A.I. and ‘ludic technologies’
  • A.I. and gamification in contemporary performance practice
  • Immersion and corporeal/embodied experiences in the age of A.I.
  • Approaching A.I. in the context of the Humanities
  • Beyond Ethics, the use of day-to-day A.I. and its application in the Arts
  • Practice, Performance, A.I. and Identity, beyond the Global North
  • A.I. actors and performers in contemporary theatre
  • Performative approaches to A.I. futures
  • A.I. and its use as a creative collaborator
  • Immersive approaches to A.I.
  • Impact of A.I. on the development of VR, AR and MR technologies in contemporary artistic practice

Acknowledgements:

We would like to acknowledge the AHRC Network - Theatre, A.I. and 'ludic technologies' - AH/V001655/1, Experiencing the Future Mundane – EPSRC EP/S02767X/1, UKRI Trustworthy Autonomous Systems Hub – EPSRC EP/V00784X/, & AI UK: Creating an International Ecosystem for Responsible AI Research and Innovation – EPSRC EP/Y009800/1. We acknowledge the support of members of the STAHR Collective.

Submission Instructions

We seek articles (5000-8000 words) as well as other documents, which can include practice-research reports, creative-critical responses, interviews, media essays, reflective accounts, and more. When submitting to ScholarOne please select special issue title "Artificial Intelligence and Contemporary Performance: Developing an Arts & Humanities Approach to AI ". Submissions will be peer-reviewed. If you would like to discuss a potential submission then please contact the editors via email.

Publication date: 15th of May 2025 

Instructions for AuthorsSubmit an Article