Computation 2

Call for submission: ECHO #5 - Technology, Mediation, Performance

Call May 5, 2022

Editors: Anthony Gritten, Caroline Wilkins, Jonathan Impett, Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca

We are delighted to share this call for proposals for a joint ECHO issue on ‘Technology, Mediation, Performance’ that will be published simultaneously on the platforms of Performance Philosophy journal and the ECHO journal of the Orpheus Institute. The fifth issue of ECHO, a journal of music, thought and technology is planned for December 2022.

How does technology inform, shape, mediate and constrain our conceptions and practices of performance? This issue begins with an expanded understanding of ‘technology’. Not only specific technologies (notation, the oboe, recording, the internet, VR), but also wider technological discourses of practical, environment, and conceptual thought-space (heliocentrism, the steam engine, computation and our common extended reality). Not only “new technologies” in the present and imagined or hypothesised future, but across knowledge horizons to the past and in considering our relations with inherited culture.

The bounding distinctions of our performances are dissolved and renegotiated, and with them their constituent concepts. If new technologically informed work denies distinctions between ‘performer’ and ‘composer’, ‘work’ and ‘practice’, ‘instrument’ and ‘environment’, even ‘performer’ and ‘listener’, then where are our objects and foci in performance? How do such transformations affect the subjects of and approaches to performance? Do our identities shift, and with them entire cultural bodies of education and criticism?

Our notions of instruments as ‘tools’ collapse as sound production and control is assimilated into cognitive prosthesis. Confronting questions raised by AR suggests that the physicality of performance is always mediatised. The intentionalities of performance are brought into question in our interactive and environmental work. We might view the proposal of a ‘metaverse’ - a multi-world of dynamic, interacting augmented realities – with scepticism. But in some respects, it is also our increasingly common reality, one that we are naturally drawn to explore and examine, whatever our apparent material. How does our current and coming technological reality shed new light on performance and practices from other times and places, however near or distant?

For ECHO related submissions, the deadline has been extended to July 1, 2022. For further details and submission instructions, please see here.