Call For Participants
In Re-Assembling the Social, Bruno Latour explains that puppeteers “will rarely behave as having total control over their puppets. They will say queer things like ‘their marionettes suggest them to do things they will have never thought possible by themselves.’ When a force manipulates another, it does not mean that it is a cause generating effects; it can also be an occasion for other things to start acting. The hand still hidden in the Latin etymology of the word ‘manipulate’ is a sure sign of full control as well as a lack of it. So who is pulling the strings? Well, the puppets do in addition to their puppeteers.”
Following Latour’s understanding of the agency of objects, the Scenography Working Group (SWG) asks participants to consider the ways in which things (including building materials, tools, but also immaterial objects like light and sound) inter-act with designers/ scenographers, their creation processes, and resulting works.
Questions participants might explore could include:
How do designers connect with objects?
What material do they have affinities with and how does material influence their work?
What values, stories, and even lineage are associated with these materials?
What tools do designers use in their work, and how did they learn to use them?
How did this design (this mask, this costume, this makeup, this set, this soundscape, these projections, this lighting) come to be?
Are there philosophies and methodological approaches associated with the creation of certain theatre objects?
How might we consider the agency of materiality and an ethics of imagining matter?
Participants will submit ‘working contributions’ in the format of their choice (as long as they can be shared with other participants and with registrants to CATR online prior to the conference). Contributions may take the shape of 3000-word working papers, but also multimedia exhibits, and research-creations (including, but not limited to, manifestos, short films, podcasts, and digital performances). Contributions should explore the topic of things as it relates to the ‘making’ of scenography.
The initiators of the working group will send a short list of readings to all selected participants. Participants will be asked to consider the connections between the ideas, practices, and theories discussed in the readings and their contributions. The first 500 words or 5 minutes of each contribution should engage with these readings.
All contributions will be posted to a secure website in advance of the conference for viewing by participants and registrants (submission deadline to be confirmed).
We will assign respondents to each contribution, and organize participants into sub- groups in order to facilitate online exchanges before and during the conference.
We will organize the session on series of related research questions.
SWG wishes to generate year-round exchanges between theatre academics and theatre designers. We encourage established and emerging scholars, as well as artists in various stages of their career to submit contributions to this year’s meeting. The area of research is not restricted to a particular time or place.
Please send initial proposals of no more than 250 words, along with a brief biography, to Dr. Natalie Rewa, Dr. Gabrielle Houle, and Dr. Jacquey Taucar at (firstname.lastname@example.org). Copy in the body of the email, please.