The seminar considers the intersection of contemporary art/theatre and new media technologies, taking up immersive, multisite, and networked modes of transmedia storytelling, performances instrumentalizing a range of live and digital platforms and formats, including social media, augmented and virtual reality, haptic and digital technology, visual and audio mapping, human/AI interaction, algorithms, and bodily and sensory enhancements.


Upcoming Events

Hana Worthen, Columbia University
Embodying Transmediality, Producing Hitler
Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 5:00pm
Room 110, Barker Center

Abstract:

Analyzing a wide range of media, from postcards to film to mass performances, Professor Hana Worthen considers how National Socialist world-building politics depended on a pre-digital and corporeal modality of transmediality to create a performative—affective and participatory—mass body through Adolf Hitler’s socio-political “branding.”

Hana Worthen is Associate Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, a member of the Ph.D. in Theatre Program, and an affiliate of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, both at Columbia University; she serves as an Associate Director of Barnard’s Center for Translation Studies as well. Her publications include Playing Nordic: The Women of Niskavuori, Agri/Culture, and Imagining Finland on the Third Reich Stage (University of Helsinki, 2007), a co-edited anthology Finland's Holocaust: Silences of History (Palgrave, 2013), and scholarly articles appearing in major professional journals, such as Contemporary Theatre Review, TDR: The Drama Review, Modern Drama, Theatre Journal, Theatre Topics, and East European Jewish Affairs. Her current scholarship takes up the intersection between theatre/performance humanism and critical posthumanism, human/animal rights and interspecies ethics, and transmedia and multiplatform performance.

Learn more:
https://barnard.edu/profiles/hana-worthen

Sulayman Al Bassam, Playwright and Director
mediamedea
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 5:30pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Award-winning playwright and director, Sulayman Al Bassam, is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading contemporary Arab theatre makers. Writing in English and directing theatre in Arabic, English, French, and German, Al Bassam has presented his creations at leading international venues across the world, including the Brooklyn Academy of Music (USA), The Holland Festival (EU), and Tokyo International Festival (Japan).

The 2007 premiere production of Richard III: An Arab Tragedy, his adaptation of the eponymous history play at the Royal Shakespeare Company, and his 2013 production of Ritual for a Metamorphosisby Syrian playwright Saadallah Al Wannous for La Comedie Francaise in Paris, marked historic moments in the presentation of Arabic language plays and texts to world audiences. A defining element of Al Bassam’s work between 2001 and 2012 is his adaptive transpositions of classic text—particularly Shakespeare—into the landscape of the tragicomic, shifting sands of present-day Gulf politics, and into the Arabic language. The plays that now form The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy (Bloomsbury, 2014) were developed by Al Bassam and dramaturge Georgina Van Welie, with his theatre company SABAB. Since 2015, Al Bassam’s works have become more exploratory in content and form with a focus on ancient texts and the apotheosis of female protagonists. Recent projects written and directed by Al Bassam include UR, co-produced by the State Theatre of Bavaria, Rezidenstheater in Munich, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, an exploration of European colonial histories and a woman’s desire for sovereignty inspired by the ancient Sumerian lamentation for the City of UR; In The Eruptive Mode, an international touring piece consisting of a series of female monologues exploring the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring; and Petrol Station, a new play that premiered at The Kennedy Center (US) in March 2017.

Learn more:
https://mediamedea.org

Funded by the Columbia Global Center in Paris

Victoria Vesna, University of California, Los Angeles
From the Singular to the Collective: Shifting Frequencies
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 12:11pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Victoria Vesna, Ph.D., is an artist and professor at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts and Director of the Art|Sci Center at the School of the Arts and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI). Although she was trained early on as a painter (Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Belgrade, 1984), her curious mind took her on an exploratory path that resulted in work that can be defined as experimental creative research residing between disciplines and technologies. With her collaborative art projects, she investigates how communication technologies affect collective behavior and perceptions of identity shift in relation to scientific innovation (PhD, University of Wales, 2000). Her work involves long-term collaborations with composers, nano-scientists, neuroscientists, and evolutionary biologists, and she brings this experience to students. She is the North American editor of the AI & Society Journal (Springer Verlag, UK), and in 2007, she published an edited volume - Database Aesthetics: Art in the Age of Information Overflow (Minnesota Press), as well as another in 2011 - Context Providers: Conditions of Meaning in Media Arts (co-edited with Christiane Paul and Margot Lovejoy, Intellect Ltd). Currently she is working on a series of artist books, including the Hox Zodiac “cookbook.”

Agnieszka Jelewska, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Michał Krawczak, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Experimental Practices. Humanities and Arts in the Post-Technological Society
Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Agnieszka Jelewska, Ph.D. (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, Professor, Theater and Media Arts Department). Since 2011 she has been a director and co-founder of Humanities /Art /Technology Research Center at Adam Mickiewicz University (artandsciencestudies.com) and a member of the research and art collective Dead Baitz. In 2003, she was a Visiting Researcher at Kent University in Canterbury, UK; in 2005, she received a prestigious Polish scholarship from the Foundation for Polish Science. She has given lectures at a wide range of institutions, including Kent University in Canterbury, UK (2003), Folkwang Universität der Künste, DE (2015), Harvard University (2015), and Emerson College (2015). She was on a research stay at Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen, DE (2015/2016). She is a curator and co-author of art and science projects, such as Transnature is Here (2013), Post-Apocalypsis (2015) and Anaesthesia (2016). She was awarded a Golden Medal for the sound design for the collective interactive installation Post-Apocalypsis (2015) at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Czech Republic. Her research interests include the environmental humanities, posthumanist design, and experimental practice and collaborative work connecting art, science, and technology.

Michał Krawczak, Ph.D. (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Theater and Media Arts Department). He is program director and co-founder of Humanities /Art /Technology Research Center at Adam Mickiewicz University (AMU; artandsciencestudies.com) and a member of the research and art collective Dead Baitz. He is also the head of the Stanislaw Lem Laboratory for Experimental Media (LEM) at AMU. He has given lectures and workshops at Folkwang Universität der Künste, DE (2015), Harvard University (2015), and Emerson College (2015). In 2015 he was also on a research stay in Zürcher Hochschule der Künste in Zurich, Switzerland. He is the author, designer, and curator of art and science projects, such as Transnature is Here (2013), Post-Apocalypsis (2015), Anaesthesia (2016) Arthropocene (2017). He was awarded a Golden Medal for the sound design for the collective interactive installation Post-Apocalypsis (2015) at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, Czech Republic. His research interests include media art, virtual reality dramaturgy and design, ecologies of sound, social robotics, artificial intelligence, and technological natures.

Learn more:
https://thetheatretimes.com/humanities-art-technology-research-center/
https://thetheatretimes.com/post-apocalypsis/

Jay Scheib, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
TBA
Thursday, April 2, 2020 - 5:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Internationally known for genre-defying works of daring physicality and the integration of new (and used) technologies in live performance, Scheib’s productions include the recent mutiplatform Platonov, or the Disinherited, which premiered as part of the Without Walls Festival at La Jolla Playhouse followed by a three week run at The Kitchen in New York City. Conceived as a 100-minute single-take feature film, Scheib’s adaptation of Chekhov’s play was broadcast live from The Kitchen to the AMC Empire 25 Cinema in Times Square and to BAM Rose Cinema in Brooklyn. Other recent works include Luigi Nono’s No hay camino hay que caminar as ouverture to Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse under the title Odyssee Scheib new staging opened the season of the newly restructured Staatstheater Darmstadt in Germany. Scheib’s staging of Thomas Adès’ opera Powder her Face was the season opener for the final season of New York City Opera at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Called “dazzling,” by Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times, Powder her Face went on to play Festival d’Opéra de Québec in Canada.

Learn more:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jay_Scheib

Past Events 2018 - 19

Magda Romanska, Emerson College
What is Transmedia? Structural Architectonics of Multiplatform Storytelling