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Call for papers and presentations: Documenting Asian Art and Performance

December 3, 2014 - 00:00-December 5, 2014 - 00:00

International Symposium 
Shifting Dialogues III: Documenting Asian Art and Performance: Embodied Knowledge, Virtuality & the Archive
University of the Arts, Helsinki 
The Asian Art and Performance Consortium (AAPC) of the Academy of Fine Arts (Kuva) and the Finnish Theatre Academy (Teak) of the University of the Arts Helsinki will jointly host a symposium focused on documenting and archiving Asian and trans-cultural performance and fine arts. 
Documentation preserves traditional and contemporary forms, and it establishes a body of knowledge for future scholars and the local communities of practitioners. Yet documentation and mediation also tends to spectacularize and reify performance and art traditions, and it can also lead to their de-contextualization and expropriation. Public memory, now primarily held “in-state” as silicon-based documents in archives, libraries and museums, is at times in conflict with historical memory held by audiences who were present at particular events. In the case of ephemeral art forms, or practices of daily life, these disparities and the problems of mediation are of particular importance. These disparities and resource sharing across cultures form the areas of focus of this symposium. 
In Asian performance, transferring knowledge bodily from teacher to students, from one generation to another is a common practice. Thus the performer’s body and oral transmission function both as repertoire of embodied practices, and as an ephemeral archive that preserves, modifies and transmits those practices from one generation to another. Different iconographic materials, including temple reliefs and canonical treatises, have also preserved ephemeral traditions through centuries. Filmed and electronic documentation of the traditions has further increased the amount of available data. 
The research under this topic will focus on the relationship of cultural artefacts to memory, discrimination, censorship and social agreements around memorialization and the construction of Asian ‘canons’. 
We will also ask: 
  • What is the impact of media on art and performance works documented, and how does documentation change the significance or reception of significant cultural artefacts? 
  • How do we avoid the performance documentary becoming the site where “mediocrity can play a hero’s part?” as Marx put it. Are some performances undeservedly preserved when they would be better off decaying naturally in the audience’s collective mind? Are we surrounding ourselves by the mixed remnants of past failures and successes, leading to a loss of the ability to accurately assess the quality of ephemeral acts?
  • Can archival procedures be more productively and strategically designed as an active cultural construction, rather than assumed to function as a passive repository for technical recall or social memory?
Issues that can be raised at the symposium include embodied, iconographic and electronic transfer of performance traditions in Asia related to live performance and traditional pedagogies, as well as the use of moving image, photography, web-based presence and new media, historical and theoretical writings, the construction of archives, museums and libraries. 
This is the third and final symposium organized under the Shifting Dialogues – Asian Performance and Fine Arts research project, funded by the Academy of Finland in 2011-2014.
The symposium is free of charge. Presentations reflecting practice-based artistic research are encouraged. 
DEADLINE for proposals is 2 May, 2014. Decisions will be confirmed by 20 May 2014. 
For the purpose of creating an interactive symposium, with a high level of response and discussion of all presentations, we have set a deadline for completed papers: 24 November 2014. 
TO SUBMIT proposals please provide the following by the deadline to teak.aapc@uniarts.fi
– abstract of 250 words with low resolution images or directions to on-line video as needed
– short bio of 150 words 
– attached cv
– mode of presentation and any special technical or space requirements
We regret that we are unable to provide scholarships for presenters. 
Call for papers and presentations: Documenting Asian Art and Performance


December 3, 2014 - 00:00
December 5, 2014 - 00:00