• Call for Papers Documenta (Volume 42, Issue 1, 2024) | Dance and New Tech

    Call for Papers Documenta (Volume 42, Issue 1, 2024) | Dance and New Tech

    Posted by Steff Nellis on 2023-04-28


 A.I., VR, MoCap, Blockchain and the new frontiers we are designing for the field.

What are the new frontiers we expect for dance to break through, to draw from, to reiterate, to simulate? Alongside this, what are the new frameworks that we need to account for such transformations? The digitization of dance or dance data is challenging the conceptual frameworks championed by the humanities based on identity, meaning, and representation.  To which extent is it useful to employ previously known approaches to dance and performance and when do they start limiting our vision? But if identity and its markers, encompassed by their meaning-making potential, are not adept at contending with A.I. generated dancers, V.R. environments, or gestures encrypted in the blockchain, then what is? This is the blank that we expect proponents to fill in; by sharing their own case studies/processes/reflections on dance and new technology; along with the new frameworks that arise to account for them. 


Katherine Hayles (2018) suggests that when working with new technologies, instead of thinking of representation or identity, we think of patterns, which for the topic of this CFP implies thinking of the specific lineages that gestures trace from human bodies to machines and back; either as kinemes or data. For this call, we are interested in building a publication that combines aesthetic, scientific, cultural, and experimental gazes that have both, human movement and digital technologies at their center, without reifying the known boundaries between these two domains but rather allowing us to understand how they intersect/interpolate one another. To be able to grapple with the palpable effects of technology across bodies, machines, devices, flesh, land, creative routes, and research, we signal toward “material thinking” (Hayles, 2018) to allow proponents to unveil how their processes traversed or arrived at/through/to the digital, as part of a broader continuum of “digital-carnalities” (Citro, 2021) either for pedagogic, artistic, interactive, or academic purposes, more broadly. 

Simultaneously, the inclusion of the dancing body in the digital does not happen in a socio-political vacuum; because of this, there is a continuous calling to account for the racial and gender differentials that persist, as bodies and their movement become digitized. In a dystopian turn, A.I. facial recognition models keep misgendering black women, video game companies keep misappropriating the dance steps of BIPOC communities for profit, and fem-presenting users within the metaverse keep experiencing sexual harassment at disproportional rates. Therefore, without suggesting the advent of a post-racial, post-gender condition, dance in the digital space is the perfect case study to re-think sociability and facilitate hinging conceptual jumps. 

We welcome submissions of a maximum of 8.000 words in the form of argumentative essays, performative writings, and non-conventional contributions, around the following topics:

·       Generative choreographic methods on-and-off chain

·       A.I. dancing models

·       (Re)configuration of subjectivities within VR environments

·       Transmission/safeguarding of dance mediated by digital technology

·       Affects impacting bodies and devices, such as digital-carnalities (Citro, 2021) 

·       Instrumentalizing digital technologies to highlight and protect indigenous/traditional creativity

·       Critical approaches to the cosplay of racial and gender markers afforded by avatarization in videogames and other virtual environments

·       “Encryption” of the dancing bodies through NFT and blockchain architectures

·       Political and legal consequences of digitizing and reproducing dance as data

·       Rhythm and ecological affordances across human and virtual bodies

·       Datafication of dance and cognitive automation

·       Re-framing human-computer interactions through human-and more than-human cosmologies

·       Fictional or speculative approaches to dance and new tech.

·       Radical uses of new technologies and the body to resist fascism, imperialism, and war

·       Visceral data and big data in dance

·       Establishment of new economies for communities of dance practitioners through Web 3

·       Erotization of virtual dancing avatars, revisited economies of desire 

·       Queerying possibilities afforded by the incursion of the dancing body in the digital

·       Composite-like dancers made out of bits of data retrieved from different bodies


Guidelines for Submissions

Proposals should be between 6.000 to 8.000 words and will be accepted in the form of editable files made with a word processor software (Microsoft Word preferred) by email to jpove001@ucr.edu. Please include your surname in the file name of the main submission document and a separate document including a short biography for the author(s) (approximately 100 words) and the title of the submission.

Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Before submitting a proposal, we encourage you to visit our website (www.documenta.ugent.be) and familiarize yourself with the journal (MLA style).

Drafts should be anonymized and contain the following: title, abstract, main text, endnotes, and bibliography. Proposals should not exceed the 8.000 word count; notes and bibliography excluded.

Submission of images and other visual material is welcome. It will be the author's responsibility to obtain permission for copyright and to use the material in print. Authors may find further information on permissions and copyright here: https://documenta.ugent.be/about/submissions.

The first step upon receipt of the paper will be a preliminary review by our editorial board committee. If the paper passes this stage, it will be sent for peer review. 





Citro, S. (2021). Intercultural Reflections on Digital-Carnalities in Dance In Hayde Lachino et al. (eds.) Dance in Times of Crisis and of Re(ex)istence/Resistance. UNAM.

Hayles, N. K. (2018). How we became posthuman: Virtual bodies in cybernetics, literature, and informatics (2nd ed.). University of Chicago Press.

Lewis, J. E., Arista, N., Pechawis, A., & Kite, S. (2018). Making Kin with the Machines. Journal of Design and Science. https://doi.org/10.21428/bfafd97b

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