[spectre] CFP: Digital Matters: Designing/Performing Agency for the Anthropocene, Berlin, Germany, 5-7.09.2021

Joanna Zylinska jo.zylinska at gmail.com
Wed Feb 24 17:15:01 CET 2021

Call for Proposals: Digital Matters: Designing/Performing Agency for the 

25th annual conference of the DRHA (Digital Research in the Humanities 
and Arts), Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany, 5-7.09.2021.

More details: http://www.drha.uk/2021/call-for-paper/

The Anthropocene highlights a fundamental fracture in contemporary 
culture between what we know and how we act. In the public sphere, this 
contradiction can be summarized by the overwhelming sense of apathy in 
the face of growing complexity and crisis. In scholarship the 
Anthropocene has been tied up with the experience of the unthinkable­­ 
by thinkers including Timothy Morton, Donna Haraway, and Amitav Ghosh. 
Yet, the current COVID-19 pandemic—which as a crisis also exemplifies 
the human impact on and a reshaping of environments—challenges the 
pervasiveness of the key concepts of abstraction and unthinkability. 
Instead, the pandemic has turned the Anthropocene into a concrete, 
intensely lived, globally shared experience. In doing so, the pandemic 
asks us to reflect on and, more importantly, experiment with the borders 
between material and digital spheres and the shifting experiences they 
currently render.

Taking place from September 5-7, 2021 in Berlin, the 25th Digital 
Research in Humanities and Arts conference invites contributions and 
interventions that focus on such transfers and interactions between 
digital and natural environments. Digital Matters takes on the challenge 
to explore new material and multi-species agencies, forms of embodiment, 
and interactions between the performing arts, the humanities and the 
natural sciences that engage the sense of relationality and expanded 
scale that the Anthropocene affords. We welcome contributions that 
create a sustained encounter between designers, hackers, performers, 
artists, and philologists to examine how these emerging ways of 
communicating and creating proximity and solidarity across distance can 
shape new responses to conceptualising life in and beyond the 
Anthropocene. We would like to generate new perspectives on any of these 
three interrelated spheres:

·         What do we make of the various encounters between digital and 
embodied materialities across the cultural, creative, and scientific 

  ·         How do we make perceivable the invisible dimension of 
environments in our cultural practices?

·         How do we create new forms of agency to match the altered 
realities of the Anthropocene?

DHRA 2021 offers a creative platform for transdisciplinary exchanges in 
a variety of formats: it will be part academic conference, part curated 
programme of digital performances, workshops, and installations that 
seek to break new ground in how artists, digital makers and researchers 
can share knowledge and engage with each other.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Nicholas Johnson (Drama Department, Trinity College Dublin)

Prof. Claudia Mareis (Institute of Experimental Design and Media 
Culture, Basel/ EXC Matters of Activity, Humboldt University Berlin)

Prof. Joanna Zylinska (Department of Media, Communications and Cultural 
Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London)

Key Roundtable on the Non-Human in Artistic Practice and Research with 
design/researcher Kim Albrecht (Harvard metaLab/Potsdam University), 
artist/researcher Siobhan Leddy (Institute for Theatre Studies, Free 
University Berlin) and Prof. Annette Jael Lehmann (Harvard metaLab/Free 
University Berlin).

We are seeking submissions on topics including, but not exclusive to, 
the following:

     Performing the Anthropocene across the arts
     Sonic environments and the environmental politics of listening
     VR, AR, and AI in performance
     Renegotiating liveness in performance
     Creating digital narratives of scale: micro & macro-levels
     Configuring the non-human in digital and natural environments
     Negotiating scarcity and waste with digital media
     Designing nature in the digital/virtual sphere
     Digitality in protest/activism
     Indigenous knowledge and digital media
     Visualizing scientific data in artistic practice
     Exploring Object-Oriented Ontology
     Possible futures and post-pandemic transformations of artistic practice

Please submit a 300-word abstract together with a short bio (ca. 75 
words) and indicate the preferred format (digital or F2F) for your paper 
or presentation (15min), digital media provocation (up to 15min), 
workshop (30/60min), or alternative creative interventions (15min) on 
the theme of the 2021 DRHA conference. To submit your proposal, please 
visit our website: http://www.drha.uk/2021/

All proposals will be reviewed and selected by a peer-review process. 
Deadline for submissions: May 15th, 2021. Currently, we are planning 
this conference as a hybrid event in Berlin with social distancing 
measures in place. If the development of the pandemic does not permit 
any form of gathering, we will shift to a fully online event.

Conference Organizers:

Dr. Lindsey Drury (EXC 2020 “Temporal Communities”, FU Berlin)

Dr. Ramona Mosse (EXC 2020 “Temporal Communities”: “Viral Theatres” 
Volkswagen Foundation Fellow, FU Berlin)

Dr. Christian Stein (EXC Matters of Activity, HU Berlin)

This year’s DRHA conference is hosted by the interdisciplinary 
Excellence Cluster (EXC) Matters of Activity at the Humboldt University 
and also supported through partnership with the Excellence Cluster (EXC) 
2020 Temporal Communities at the Freie Universität-Berlin and the “Viral 
Theatres” Research Project, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Professor Joanna Zylinska
Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Goldsmiths, University of London


NEW PUBLICATIONS (all open access):

BOOK: AI Art: Machine Visions and Warped Dreams

ART BOOK: Perception at the End of the World, or How Not to Play Video Games

Views from the window: nonhuman photography, human labour and Covid-19

WATERKINO and HYDROMEDIA: How to Dissolve the Past to Build a More Viable Future

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