Conference June 22-24, 2012, University of Chichester, UK

Somatics and Technology Conference June 22-24 2012: Call for papers and artworks

Call for papers and artworks

Somatics and Technology

deadline 15 January 2012



The first conference of its kind in the UK to disseminate a spectrum of digital arts linked with the Somatic, this 3-day event will integrate advanced critical and theoretical perspectives. Through keynote presentations, papers and round table discussions and a series ofworkshops, art exhibits and performances at the University, it offers the opportunity for both practical and theoretical understanding of the theme. The conference is hosted by the University of Chichester, with its unique woodland setting, spacious facilities and relaxed atmosphere, and will take place from Friday 22nd June to Sunday 24th June 2011.

Somatics, referring to a set of body-based contemporary practices has achieved widespread recognition as a form of bodily knowledge. It coincides with a resurgence of philosophical and scientific interest in the role that the somatic plays in human thought and experience and its reach encompasses in the contemporary arts that challenge the primacy of digital logic through the promotion of a more body-based and sensual approach to technology. Shusterman (2008), Damasio (1994).

The conference explores collaborative possibilities between the body and sensual/sensing technologies across a wide range of disciplines. It offers an occasion for critical debate and and an exploration of innovative theoretical and practical research regarding the relationship of somatics and technology, as expressed through notions of embodiment, kinesthetic empathy, the haptic, kinaesthetics, synaesthesia. 

Aims and Scope

The conference aims to:

* Establish new communities of knowledge exchange

* Promote interdisciplinary discussion around the impact of body-basedpractices and principles of embodiment, sensuality, movement, ergonomy etc. inartistic practice and theory

* Enquire into innovations in artistic, scientific and philosophical perspectives concerning the somatic

* Advance discussion around the role of the somatic in interface design and spectatorial experience

* Evolve new approaches to the digital representation of time, spaceand locality
through corporeal experience

* Investigate user engagement and participation
as a sensual experience

* Explore the impact of new narratives and design in the Arts throughthe body

* Promote discussion involving new body-based approaches in education and the digital

Themes and Questions:

Encouraging engagement with a number of disciplines, art and performance practices, technologies and theory, papers, works and presentations are invited that address the following issues, and introduce new themes and ideas: 

  • In the light of the infiltration of technologies in daily life that facilitate physical and organisational tasks, is a Cartesian split between body knowledge and conceptual processes still of relevance today?
  • What role does dance play in promoting the recognition of the role of somatics in digital practices, and in challenges to the Cartesian split?

* What do terms such as embodiment, the augmented body, interaction, kinesthetic empathy, sensual interfaces, the haptic actually convey? Do they have the same meaning for all artistic disciplines?

  • What are the chief signifiers of embodiment and presence in art?
  • Could new forms of somatic expression be explored/developed through technology?
  • How can the body be seen to inform technological interfaces in the arts in the 21st century, and interrelational processes between awareness, biological function and environment?
  • What kinds of dialogues and new creative expressions emerge between somatics and technologies in art? In daily life?


Call for Papers and art projects*

Contributions are invited which might consider the following topics:

Multimedia theatre and dance

Live performance with interactive systems

Virtual and physical bodies

Motion capture technologies

Web-based performance and virtual performance spaces

Interactive performance installations

Space, embodiment, experience

Real-time video, graphics, music, lighting control


A special issue of the Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices, Intellect Press. Eds. Prof. Sarah Rubidge and Dr. Andrea Davidson. Publication 2013 (peer-reviewed edition ofthe proceedings).

Abstracts should be of no more than 500 words and sent as a single PDFformat not exceeding 4 Meg. A short biography of no more than 250 words should also be provided.

Art projects should include a clear indication of any special technicalrequirements as well as possible duration and space requirements, and DVD and/or access to web documentation of existent works.

 * Please note that in the light of current budgetary restraints, we will only be able to house works that are "light". Artists will be required to come with their own equipment and any specific technical support.

Submissions will only be accepted electronically.

Abstracts submission deadline: Jan. 15, 2012

Notification of selection: 1stMarch 2012

Conference dates: 22-24 June 2012, University of Chichester,Chichester, UK

Submissions to:

Conference registration dates to be communicated shortly.

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Somatics and Technology Conference June 22-24 2012: Call for papers and artworks