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Film still 'In Waking Hours' 2015 (c) Sarah Vanagt
DEEP TIME OF THE THEATRE. Archaeology/Technology of the Senses

As an age-old art form, theatre has always embraced ‘new’ media. Literally ‘a place to observe,’ the theatron has been an obvious platform for new technologies and scientific objects, such as mirrors, electric light, the magic lantern, the theatrophone and, more recently, cameras, digital projection devices and mobile media. To create theatrical effects and optical illusions, theatre makers were ready to integrate these state-of- the-art technics and technologies, and by doing so they playfully explored and popularized scientific knowledge on mechanics, optics and sound for live audiences. Theatre history thus reflects the history of media.

 

This two-day symposium proposes a media archaeological approach to contemporary theatre and intermediality. Studies of intermedial theatre have discussed ways in which digital technologies refocus, enhance and/or disrupt established theatrical practices by integrating the spectator and playing with narrative and representational conventions. Now is the time to historicize and to uncover the past in the present. Through the interplay between present performances and their archaeological traces this symposium intents to revisit old and often forgotten media approaches and technologies in theatre. This archaeology will be understood less as the discovery of the past than as the establishment of an active relationship between past and present. Rather than treating archaeological remains as representative tokens of a fragmented past that need to be preserved, the authors stress the return of the past in the present, but in a different, performative guise. 

 

With lectures, presentations and performances by Muriel Andrin (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Sarah Bay-Cheng (Bowdoin College, USA), Edwin Carels (KASK School of Arts), Pieter De Buysser (author and performing artist), Chiel Kattenbelt (Utrecht University), Rudi Knoops (KU Leuven / LUCA School of Arts), Peter Missotten (ZUYD & Toneelacademie Maastricht), Kristof van Baarle (UGent), Sarah Vanagt (film and media artist), Katrien Vanagt (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands), Melissa Van Drie (French National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris), Karel Vanhaesebrouck (Université Libre de Bruxelles), Kurt Vanhoutte (Visual Poetics, UAntwerpen), Kris Verdonck (media and performance artist), Erika Wicky (Université de Liège) and Jozef Wouters (scenographer). 

 

An event organized by the Research Centre for Visual Poetics (UA) and Fillière Arts du spectacle vivant (ULB) supported by the University of Antwerp, Centre de recherche MuCiA, ReSIC (Centre de recherche en information et communication). 

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