“Reinventing the stage. Innovation, Creation, Spread” (Montreal)

Call for papers for the international colloquium

Reinvent the scene. Innovation, creation, diffusion

Grande Bibliothèque de la BAnQ, Montreal, June 1–3, 2023

Historically, the performing arts are defined by the encounter between performers and an audience, between a stage and an audience, between a production and a reception, in a specific place, for a limited time. They usually presuppose a co-present, synchronous and localized community, live and in place. On the other hand, theater, opera, music and dance have never ceased, since ancient Greece, to question the questions of shared space, performance, representation, mediation and regulation between the human and the other than the human.

The objective of this international and interdisciplinary symposium is to bring together stakeholders from the performing arts and media arts, be they researchers, producers, distributors or creators, in order to discuss what has long nourished the fundamental identity of theatre, opera, music and dance: stage. How does the transition from live and in situ representations work to the many possible configurations – deferred and ex situ (recording, recording and broadcasting of events and performances that we see elsewhere at a time other than that of the representation), live and ex situ (broadcasting, telecasting, live streaming on the Internet or telepresence that enables remote viewing of an event or performance), or deferred and in situ (when an event or performance is repeated in the same place but at a different time, as with certain uses of virtual, augmented or mixed reality) — does it transform the experience of the spectator and the very nature of the event in which he participates?

Combined with the various technological developments that have been taking place for some time – already with the telephone, cinema, radio and television, but also recently, with virtual reality, the web and social networks –, COVID-19 contributed to the question in a way even more dramatic the physical spaces and, consequently, the arts that seemed inseparable from the sanctified places. Above all, the pandemic has reinforced this impression that the physical space is gradually becoming obsolete and that the performing arts are in crisis. But these last years have also made it possible to re-examine, rethink the very meaning of the stage, its materiality, forms and places. Similarly, the many innovative initiatives of recent times invite us to consider the effects of the pandemic as a catalyst for the reinvention of the stage through media and technological innovations, in order to enable new relationships and encounters between the performance and its audience. From the production of works in augmented reality to live performance through the Zoom platform, through the challenge presented by the “music chatroom” and facilitated by applications such as Endlesss, among others, a series of research and experiments aim to bring. the performance comes back to life, but in new ways, each of which profoundly modifies the traditional ecology of the stage. In a post-pandemic reality, with the development of connected screens, whether giant fixed screens or mobile platforms, with web access and a camera, with motion tracking and geolocation technologies, we are witnessing a rediscovery of physical space, but in a new, more complex, hybrid or mixed form. In this extended field – otherwise called “mixed reality” (Milgram et
al.), “hybrid space” (Benford and Giannachi), “smart city” (Halegoua), “localized web” (Gordon and de Souza e Silva) or “geomedia” (McQuire) – public space and communities , stage and audience, assemblies, events and performances are reconfigured.

This symposium proposes to examine the recent reconfigurations of the stage by several digital technologies that bring together connectivity and localization, online virtual spaces and offline physical spaces, in order to clearly understand their impact on this stage ecology and understand all the complexity inherent in its technological and media renewal. We invite proposals for individual papers (20 minutes) exploring these themes, without chronological or linguistic restrictions regarding the corpus and phenomena studied. Communications may address the following topics, but are not limited to:

– The ways in which the “scene” is expanded by new technologies and their impact on the content, form, distribution or reception of performances.
– Social and sensory enhancement of the viewer’s experience through immersive, immersive, participatory and interactive experiences.
– The political resonances of the reconfiguration of the stage and the room by technology, of the scene by technology, offering a new “separation of the sensitive”, another distribution of “places and parts”, of powers and the common (Lyotard, Rancière, Dardot and Laval).
– Redefining and democratizing performing arts through new technologies.
– Link between recent scene transformations and past experiments.
– Reconfigured “scene” show presence issue.

Please send your proposals, in French or English, (maximum 500 words), by January 15, 2023, using the online form available at the following address: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1vFHns3m0h7BithYG-7QNrXcdlmEfJ16KgK9Mo6bwRh8/edit.

For any questions, use the following address: reinventerlascene@gmail.com.

Scientific Committee:
Olivier Asselin (University of Montreal)
Richard Bégin (University of Montreal)
Josette Féral (Sorbonne Nouvelle University – Paris 3)
Jean-Marc Larrue (University of Montreal)
Colleen Renihan (Dan School of Drama and Music, Queen’s University)

Organizing Committee:
Olivier Asselin (University of Montreal)
Richard Bégin (University of Montreal)
Thomas Carrier-Lafleur (University of Montreal)
Zoey Cochran (University of Montreal / McGill University)
Ana Sokolović (University of Montreal)

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