[dance-tech] Re: Fwd: Post symposium anyone?

  • From: Katherine Mancuso <kmancuso@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: s.rubidge@xxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 14:06:25 -0500

I think that if I were doing an openspace model dance tech symposium I
would want to include openspace dancing.  I know this seems obvious
but one of the most tiring things about traditional conferences for me
is that we spend a lot of time talking about the body without actually
doing.  It would be entirely plausible to shoot and put together a
video dance or some other neat networked performance piece and use
that as a basis for our discussions, and use discussions to drive
dance.  One of the openspace conferences I enjoy the most is the
Alternate Roots Annual Meeting (www.alternateroots.org) and it's fun
precisely because we both get business done and have professional
development workshops AND have frequent art breaks.

One of the more interesting conferences I've been to under this model
of performance informing theory is the Anarcha Project conference:


On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 1:59 PM, Sarah Rubidge <s.rubidge@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.
> sarah
> ---------- 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!
> MerriamWebster:
> a) a convivial party (as after a banquet in ancient Greece) with music and
> conversation
> 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
> atmosphere.)
> 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.
> Sarah
> 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

Katherine Mancuso: pirate crusader of community art, social media, & disability

SciTrainU Staff, Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental
Access (http://tinyurl.com/9gyth8)
Member, Experimental Gaming Lab/Emergent Gaming Group (http://egl.gatech.edu)
MS Student, Georgia Tech, Digital Media (http://dm.gatech.edu)
Alternate ROOTS: arts*community*activism (http://www.alternateroots.org)
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