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[ecrea] CFP: ReClaiming Participation Technology, Mediation & Collectivity
Wed Nov 06 01:36:33 GMT 2013
ReClaiming Participation Technology, Mediation & Collectivity Zurich
University of the Arts, May 7 -- 9, 2014
DFG-Network "Media of Collective Intelligence"
Institute for Critical Theory, Zurich University of the Arts
Research Initiative "Media and Participation", University of Konstanz
Participation has become the key issue in popular, economic, and
academic notions of New Media. The conference seeks to examine and
unravel the debates of the "Participation Age", rejecting a mere
appraisal of the impact of contemporary media on participation. Instead
of perpetuating euphoric visions of social "all-inclusion", web
democracy and collaboration as well as pessimistic views of exclusion,
top-down hierarchy and the "digital divide", we aim to reclaim
collectivity as an effect of technological, historical and political
conditions and practices.
We are seeking papers that offer a wide array of perspectives on the
processes of collectivization and individuation in media environments.
Topics may range from analyses of participatory objects and
technological arrangements to the reciprocity and entanglement of
formerly theoretically separated positions. We are welcoming
contributions from theoretical considerations to case studies and
examinations in the field of the arts. We particularly encourage PhD
candidates and early career researchers to submit proposals.
Jean-Luc Nancy (Professor emeritus at Marc Bloch University in
Strasbourg, France) and Claus Pias (Professor at Leuphana University of
Lu?neburg, Germany) have confirmed as two of the three conference's
keynote speakers. The program includes three thematic sessions and
closes with a final report by the members of the DFG-Network "Media of
1. Participation and the Claims of Community
2. Participatory Practices and Digital Media
3. Art and Media: Theory of Partaking
4. Final report and outlook of the DFG-Network "Media of Collective
SESSION I. PARTICIPATION AND THE CLAIMS OF COMMUNITY
As media policy, participation is accompanied by visions of being
related or tied to something larger and superior. Claims for
participation are often implicitly or explicitly connected to a certain
idea of a greater unity: an imagination of collectivity or even
collective intelligence. This
session will question the claims of community in a double sense: if
participation can be staged as a promise and a duty at the same time,
what are the utopias of participation and what may be their dark sides?
Which desires, attractions, and impositions are implied in requests for
participation? Thinking of participatory processes as mediations between
disparate human and technical entities also means reconsidering the
obstacles of coordinating and matching these entities. What are the
interface-processes supporting or impeding the building of communities?
SESSION II. PARTICIPATORY PRACTICES AND DIGITAL MEDIA
New apps, internet platforms and software codes seem to enhance forms of
distributed productivity and to open new possibilities to share ideas.
Simultaneously, these media conditions, and hence the knowledge of
(non-)participation, are inscribed in media and technical objects or
devices. Based on this, the session will explore to what extent digital
media and the rise of networks re-conceptualize user practices and vice
versa. How can we address the reciprocal relations and transformational
processes between technical objects predetermining socio-cultural
practices in the same way as they are shaped by them? The aim of this
session is thus to critically rethink digital participation. In addition
to analyzing displays and interface designs, it aims to scrutinize the
operations of software agents, bots, and hardware components, which
contribute to and determine the possibilities of participation.
Consequently, the central question to be discussed is, how can
participation be thought of as a socio-technological process?
SESSION III. ART AND MEDIA: THEORY OF PARTAKING
This session will focus on theoretical and experimental approaches to
the media conditions of participation. This concerns technological
prerequisites, practices and techniques, as well as fundamental outlines
of participatory being while anticipating a media theory of partaking.
Considerations that focus on relational thinking have gained new urgency
regarding the fundamentally relational concept of participation. This
includes ecological approaches, relational ontology, and postulates of a
technological milieu of individuation. By questioning the
interconnection of technology, aesthetics, and philosophy, art has
become a favored field for experiments with participation. Art and
techniques thereby shall be considered in a wider sense as skills,
tactics, and practices that might provide a possibility to subvert
ideologies of inclusion and exclusion, demonstrating alternatives to the
claims and impositions of participation.
We accept abstracts up to 500 words that should address topics and
questions relating to one of the sessions. Please add a short CV to your
proposal. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 31 December
2013. Please send abstract and CV to (CFP /at/ RECLAIMINGPARTICIPATION.COM). If
you have any questions please refer to our Blog at
http://reclaimingparticipation.com or send an email to
(info /at/ reclaimingparticipation.com).
All presenters chosen for the conference are welcome to apply for a
travel grant. Please fill out the form regarding refunding, also
available on our Blog, to apply for a grant.
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