Submit a Manuscript to the Journal
Theatre and Performance Design
For a Special Issue on
01 August 2022
03 January 2023
We are pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue of the journal, Theatre and Performance Design, Spring/Summer 2023, On Capture, guest edited by Chris Salter, Prof. Immersive Arts, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK)
In a prescient 1994 article entitled “Surveillance and Capture,” the American computer/social scientist and artificial intelligence researcher Philip Agre distinguished between two different modes of privacy. While the more familiar mode of surveillance “originates in the classically political sphere of state action,” it is Agre’s concept of capture – “the deliberate reorganization of work activities to allow computers to track them in real time” – that so well “captures” our historical-social-technical moment.
While the histories of theatre and performance practice have forever been entangled with technological systems, from the Deus ex Machina and the histories of stage automata to current machine control systems that are by now standard on the spectacle-laden stage, we are entering an era in which the visible machineries of scenography are acutely giving way to the invisible: information-driven computational systems that sense, analyze, process, distribute and act on data, thus enabling what historian of science Orit Halpern calls the “disavowal of the present in the interest of prediction.” What are the political-social-cultural-economic and aesthetic consequences of these new performative environments of capture? What happens to our experience of human bodies when they inhabit scenographies where their senses are extended and reconfigured by way of increasingly performative and even expressive computing systems?
This special issue of Theatre and Performance Design, guest edited by Chris Salter, invites scholars and particularly practitioners to engage with Agre’s question of capture within current and future expanded practices of theatre and performance design. We are particularly interested in proposals that historicize the use of sensing and machine intelligence systems in performance contexts and that present research in multiple forms, from scholarly articles and visual essays, to manifestos, reflexive/auto/insider ethnographies, production diaries, explanatory technical diagrams and code. Possible topics around performance and scenographic practice with capture systems include but are not limited to:
- Critical/historical discussions of AI and machine learning systems
- Critical/historical discussions of XR (Extended Reality – VR, AR, MR) systems
- Digital colonialism and racialization in performance contexts
- Gender and artificial intelligence in performance contexts
- Disability, AI and technological extension
- Language models (Generative Pre-Trained Transformer Models) and/or NLP systems in performance practice
- Materiality of procedures and code
- Offloaded/Distributed agency between humans and machines
- Performative models of prediction and control
- Human-Robot-Environment interaction
- Artificial Life and Complex Systems in performative contexts
- Internet of things and ubiquitous computing paradigms in scenography
- Modeling (climate, environment) and performativity
- Interventions into Datafication and Quantification
- Sensing and data capture and its discontents
- Theatres of surveillance and sousveillance
- Non-anthropocentric performance practice with human-machine configurations
- Algorithms, game theory, predictive models in performance
- Artificial sense and sensory substitution systems in performance, installation, architectural contexts (vision, hearing, touch, proprioception, taste and smell)
All articles are subject to peer review.
Please send a 300 word abstract to Editorial Associate Nick Tatchell at [email protected] by 1st August 2022 with accepted articles due in full by
3rd January 2023. Articles usually range between 6000-8000 words, visual/photo essays are also accepted with a shorter word count.
This special double issue will be published for Spring/Summer 2023 (Volume 9, Issues 1 & 2).
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