[dance-tech] Fwd: Post symposium anyone?

  • From: Sarah Rubidge <s.rubidge@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: josephine@xxxxxxxxxxxx, diego@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, unstablelandscape@xxxxxxxxx, armando@xxxxxxx, Reseau DanceTech <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 18:59:49 +0000

This was sent to Armando  .... but then I saw your emails. There seem to be
a lot of alternative models out there ..... It would be great to collaborate
on something like this.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Sarah Rubidge <s.rubidge@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: [dance-tech] Post symposium anyone?
To: armando@xxxxxxx

Absolutely agree.  They seem to waste, rather than enhance, the opportunity
for dialogue.   I rather like the idea that a symposium  originally referred
to a  party!
a) a convivial party (as after a banquet in ancient Greece) with music and
b*)* a social gathering at which there is free interchange of ideas

The meaning it has taken on in academia seems to be more akin to a
colloqium.    I think we are seeking a discursive rather than lecture and
question–answer format

SO - yes - alternatives.  I guess it depends on what one wants to gain from
it.  Joahnnes did a Brainstorming weekend in Ohio many years ago.  That
seemed to work very well.

Taking on board the listening to local realities as a given, Other
possibilities would be setting up sessions with small groups of people for
the sole purpose of  discussion on different topics. Some groups might be
primarily technical, others compositional, others
philsophical/sociological/generally theoretical, others artistic - focusing
on specific modes of artistic practice, some could be practical explorations
of a topic.  I would suggest that the this is set up such that there is an
opportunity for specialists to get together  to share ideas/developements in
thinking and doing, and/or problems that they are encoutnering, AND the
opportunity for people with different approaches to mix and talk, so that
all participants go way with new  ideas to ponder upon.
 Maybe have the same/a similar topic/question for each group for one
substantial session;  then mix the membership of the groups up on another
session/day to discuss the similarities and differences in the different
approaches to a question/concept, whatever.   This would give specialists a
chance to get into an in-depth discussion of an idea in their own terms, yet
still allow the  opportunity for everyone to hear how others less au fait
with their approach/discipline understand it.   Coffee could be always
available, lunches could become more distributed, informal continuations of
the discussion  ......  and preferably take place outside the venue - and be
for two hours or so. (This worked very well in the Mutamorphosis conference
in Prague last year.  It gave an unparalleled opportunity to join with a
small group for lunch and spend time talking at length in a genuinely social

Also allow time for participants to breathe - take stock ..... and to wander
as well - starting late - or finishing early. One of the things I find with
symposia is that, apart from being bombarded with words and ideas and not
having time to reflect,  I never manage to get out into the area in which
the sympoium is taking place.  Hotel to  symposium venue to hotel  tends to
be the pattern.  It is ironic that there are so many cities I have been to
but never visited.

Maybe also mount  an installation 'in process' ... using this as an
opprtunity for the artists to put the system/iinstallation up to test it
with participants/users.  This is an invaluable way to  see how a system
might be used.  A mix of people (even if most are au fait with certain areas
of dance-techology practice) could offer invaluable insights that could be
incorporated into the system subsequenttly.  And of course,
exhibitions/small performances/

*I would be very happy to  become involved/collaborate on setting up
something  of this kind ... I hope to get to Tunisia* *but am not certain
whether this will happen yet.



On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 2:13 AM, Armando Menicacci <armando@xxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hello all,
> I've been tired of symposia for quite a long time. Of course as a
> researcher I go to listen, I go to speak and I organize them all the time
> (the next 3 I'll organiza will be in Tunisia in may, in Paris in May and in
> Rio de Janeiro in July. But nevertheless I'm tired of the form they seem to
> be crystalized in. Don't you?

> Missed encounters, just short glimpses, tight and tiring schedule, fake (if
> existing) question and answer session after the presentation...... the list
> of the things lots of people don't like (but rarely dare to say) is great.
> The best moments in the symposiums? Almmost everybody agrees: the coffe
> brakes! Where you can really, even for ten minutes smoking one cigarette
> after the other you drink the tenth coffe of the day but have some quality
> time with your favourite speaker.
> To make a long story short I think that the ideal symposium is JUST a long
> coffe break.
> But I'd like to ask something: in our field, digital
> performance/installation etc. etc. what woud you think an appropriate,
> pertinent contemporary form of a dance-tech knowledge sharing gathering
> would be? Just to kick start (hoping that a discussion will follow) I'd like
> to propose that a postcolonial approach to a symposium would be a form of
> dialogue with the place in which the event (should we still call it
> symposium?) would be.
> Suggestion 1) Listening (good exercise for a speaker) to local realities
> and do a work of calibrating level and topics of the speech in order to
> create a dialogue.
> Another thing that always strikes me is, generally, the little space
> dedicated to questions. For me it is as important as the paper.
> Suggestion 2) "Real" question-dialogue-exchange section
> Who would like to go on?
> If we come up with something we could implement this in the dance tech
> symposium we are organizing in may in tunisia and you'll all be credited for
> the suggestions that become real. (By the way, maybe this is already the
> beginning of a different way of organizing symposium: asking what form this
> could have from scratch and thinking it in a wide dialogue....)
> All the besto to all of you
> _______________________________
> Armando Menicacci
> Dierector of the Mediadanse Laboratory
> Dance Department, Paris 8 University

Sarah Rubidge
Professor of Choreography and New Media
University of Chichester, UK

Sarah Rubidge
Professor of Choreography and New Media
University of Chichester, UK

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