Edited by PSi Future Advisory Board
Felipe Cervera (National University of Singapore), Shawn Chua (Independent artist and scholar), Panayiota Demetriou (Bath Spa University), Areum Jeong (UCLA), Eero Laine (University at Buffalo, SUNY), Azadeh Sharifi (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Evelyn Wan (Utrecht University), and Asher Warren (University of Melbourne)
[CfP is now Closed]
This special issue of Global Performance Studies investigates the ways in which performance manifests the future. We are particularly interested in directing this inquiry towards the “now,”with uncertainties in global politics, developments in artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare, unprecedented scales of natural disasters, the ticking clock on climate change, and a new golden age in astronomy and extraterrestrial exploration. In order to characterise these uncharted moments, scholars and artists have referred to Antonio Gramsci’s concept of the times of the “interregnum,” when the old socio-legal-political order is dying but the new cannot be/is not yet born (Bauman 2012, Hlavajova 2013, Sheik 2016, Streeck 2017). Lauren Berlant proposes the “impasse” as a term to describe the historical present, “a thick moment of ongoingness, a situation that can absorb many genres without having one itself” (2011). To Berlant, the impasse is a space for transitions and adaptations, but without any assurances for the future. In turn, Marc Augé argues that the future may work as an exclusionary force, as it is used to qualify those who have no future because their “assignation to a miserable and continuing present is experienced as the equivalent of a death sentence” (2015). Augé alerts us that contemporary technologies “promote an ideology of the present, an ideology of the future now, which in turn paralyzes all thought about the future” (2015). This point is perhaps in resonance with what Mark Hansen has defined as a characteristic of twenty-first-century media, and its capacity to record “multiple, partially overlapping presents from different time frames and scales” that are not entirely sensible by humans, but completely under the perceptual domain of technology (2014). As social movements on the street, in the theatre, or on the Internet show sentiments of hope and resistance, and the collective investment in a better future, we can also learn from José Muñoz’s insistence on a queer futurity that “may be extinguished but not yet discharged in its utopian potentiality” in the face of “here and now’s totalizing rendering of reality” (2009).
We are particularly interested in how performance produces and represents contingencies and possibilities for the future. What are the contingencies of performance? What are the horizons of thought which may help guide the navigation into, about, and out of the future? Can we speculate beyond these horizons of thought through performance? How might considerations about performance and contingency deploy further contingent futures? What are the risks and dangers of looking into the future? Is there a crisis of speculation? Who is performing the future? Which contemporary performers are engaged with uncertain and unforeseen futures?
The guest editors of this issue call for artistic and scholarly comments and interventions that might consider the contingencies, dangers, and speculation of the present as deviations for possible futures or re-performed pasts. We are less interested in manifestos and utopian projects that echo those of the past, than with considering our continual departure from the present. Contributions in the usual format are welcome, but we also encourage submissions as video/photo essays, sound, and other experimental formats. Possible questions and lines of inquiry include:
- When is performance forward-looking? How does it enable the future? What does it detain from looking forward?
- What is a future or past without contingency?
- How is the future inscribed in the body? What bodies may access the future?
- What ties performance to the present time and space? Which borders hold it? Under what architectures of information and data does it reside?
- How is the experience of the past/present/future mediated, and how does mediation open up or close off paths leading away from the present?
- How is the future charted onto geopolitics? Who issues the passports that allow entry into and who stamps them?
- Contributions may also address the following topics: Precarity and austerity; abundance and plenitude; scarcity; sustainability; the anchoring of the present moment through the use of post- e.g. post-colonial, post-gender, post-queer, post-human, post-truth; Anthropocene, Capitolocene; climate change; speculative fictions; science fiction; antisciencefiction; affective circulation; e.g. of optimisms, and pessimisms (cruel optimism; Afro-pessimism, etc.).
GPS seeks proposals for content in these areas:
(we encourage projects with supplemental content in multiple categories)
Critical and analytical essays, position papers, manifestos.
Performance texts, scores, scripts, digital art, recordings of performances.
Video essays, short documentaries, interviews.
Audio papers, podcasts, interviews.
Supplementary Digital Content
Web based submissions, graphics, animations, maps, data visualizations, curated archives, lexicons, annotations, ethnographic notes, games, and supplemental video, audio, and images.
Note: supplementary digital content should be carefully curated and associated with a proposal of a scholarly and/or artistic project.
Proposals for articles / projects due by January 10th, 2018.
Submission of full accepted articles / projects due by May 20th, 2018.
Requirements for Proposals:
- Proposals for full-length articles: 500-word (max) abstract.
- Proposals for media projects: 500-word (max) abstract.
- Proposals for reviews: 250-word (max) abstract.
- Proposals should include the author(s) name(s) as it would appear in the journal, and 50-word biography for each author.
- For articles or reviews that involve supplemental media please include an additional 100- word (max) description of the scope, purpose, and format of the associated media. Please do not send media files with any proposal. Examples of media may be solicited as needed.