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