[dance-tech] Re: Post symposium anyone?

  • From: "Johannes Birringer" <Johannes.Birringer@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <armando@xxxxxxx>, <dance-tech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Feb 2009 17:53:15 -0000

dear Armando, dear all;

I'll start with the initial post, Armando, that you sent to the list,  we were 
snowed in, so the answer comes slowly.

you raise a very interesting point (about curtatorship and organisation of such 
events), you seem a littke pessimistic in general (about people talking 
publicly) ,  and I'm sure you'll get interesting responses (for me the quick 
coffee breaks do not necessarily always work either). 

and by the way an entire list was formed a while ago   
which deals with such interesting questions, of the positioning of arts 
practices (and dance tech or performance technological art and resaerch) vis à 
vis  exhibition or curatorial (and i include symposia here) contexts and 

Now, I note you say will curate one at home (if that is a proper way of 
speaking about your base, Paris, France, or one of your bases), and two abroad, 
and presumably the one in Tunisia attracts considerable attention here , we 
seldom receive  much information about the practices and research in Northern 
Africa, and that is changing now it seems, Philippe also addressed it.

Is this your reference to the "post colonial?, or how did you mean this, and 
why would a "postcolonial" approach to a gathering (symposium) be different in 
Tunisia (compared to say, in New York or Melbourne?  how do you engage place 
and local culture, re: dance-tech,   and why would one do so, and to what end?  

There is much to talk about here, since tech workshops in the past, to my 
recollection, were not so much about the site, the place where we met, but 
about software and new performance techniques, yes? data were extruded from the 
body. sometimes from site.  so the workshops were about extrusions and 
analysis.  Is this what you mean by (neo)colonial?

A different approach however has much to give us, I agree,  One always looks 
for good, exciting models.   

Armando, and others here on the list, you may recall our "Digital Cultures" 
event in 2005, at Nottingham;  the combination of workshops (hands on creative 
encounters), research presentations/dialogue,  forum discussions, and evening 
performances -- I had pondered then, that such web of things would not be 
enough, i hoped for another social dimension that would bring us together more 
intimately or personally, and i hoped it would happen at the dinners.

My model was Mine Kaylan's venture, something she had started to do in 
Bodrum/Turkey a few years back, and prior to "Digital Cultures" I had met with 
Mine and asked her to help me in creating a version of her LELEG institute for 
Digital Cultures.  The Bodrum site was used to bring artists and local people 
together in a series of dinner conversations. 

for Mine andf LELEG see:  http://www.digitalcultures.org/Symp/Mine.htm
and :  http://www.ucsia.org/main.aspx?c=.RETHUNIV&n=70295&ct=66546&e=181629

I think the idea of using the local village/place and the ritual role of 
food/dinner in the community of people (and hosts and guests relations)  as a 
kind of Platonic model for dialogue is quite splendid. 
Mine was not feeling well during the November/December "Digital Cultures 
event," she had a cold, and so my hopes for better food and talk were somewhat 
but the hope remains.

lastly, i think it was also Mine who introduced me to a work group of artists 
from the Netherlands and the UK who in 2006 or thereabouts worked on a 
practical experiment of explaining to ourselves the practices involved when we 
make context-specifric relational art or conceive of relational architectures.  

A small handbook has sprung forth from these wonderful workshops:  "The 
Architecture of Interaction"  (AoI)


with regards

Johannes Birringer
School of Arts 
Brunel University
West London 
UB8 3PH   UK
+44  (0)1895 267 343  (office)

-----Original Message-----
From: dance-tech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx on behalf of Armando Menicacci
Sent: Wed 2/4/2009 2:13 AM
To: Reseau DanceTech
Subject: [dance-tech] Post symposium anyone?
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  

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

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