Mediatized Performance – 9/10/2013

Radical Media Forum Posters

The Radical Media Form presents its first conference in its year long series: Mediatized Performance: The Performing Body and New Media Art, organized by Phaedra Shanbaum.  With Carmin Karasic (Electronic Disturbance Theater, Independent Artist), Gavin Butt (Co-Director, This is Not a Dream, Goldsmiths College, ) and Ben Walters (Co-Director, This is Not a Dream), Atau Tanaka (Professor of Media Computing, Embodied Audiovisual Interaction (EAVI) research unit, Goldsmiths College, ), Dr. Susan Schuppli (Senior Lecturer, Acting Director. Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College), Arkadi Zaides (Choreographer, Performer), Tom Tlalim (Artist and Researcher, PhD Candidate, Goldsmiths College).  Keynote: Anna Furse (Goldsmiths College).  

New media art is rife with references to the body and performance. However, the investigation of the body and performance within this field is seemingly restricted to the relationship between the output of digital information (either displayed on a digital interface or projected into an exhibition or performance space) and the live body responding performatively to this output usually displayed on an object based digital interface (pressing a button or pulling a lever on an artwork, projecting digital images onto the body of a dancer), or generating it live through the act of performance (live coding). As such there has been little attempt to enfold an understanding of new media art within the wider context of the “turn to performance” or the “corporeal turn” that has taken place in the humanities in recent decades. Thus, it is against this background of the combination of performance studies, art history and media theory that this symposium will interrogate both, how the body performs and how the performing body is theorized in new media artworks.

The timetable for the event is:

11AM – Keynote: Anna Furse (RHB 309)

1PM-2:30PM Panel: Mediated Performance and the Sonic Body: Atau Tanaka, Dr. Susan Schuppli, Arkadi ZaidesTom Tlalim (RHB 356)  **See below for more information about this panel**

3:00-4:30PM – Workshop and talk: Hactivism as Performance: Carmin Karasic (RHB 356)

5:00- 8:00PM Screening and talk: This is Not a Dream: Gavin Butt and Ben Walters (Doors open 5PM. Screening 5:10 – 7:45PM (15 minute interval) Q&A 7:45PM) (RHB Cinema)

Reception following screening.

Panel Information: Mediated Performance and the Sonic Body

Increasingly, the human body (movement –> sensation) is the subject of measurements, tracking, translation and extension through various media technology. The tracking and extension of the body and its performance proposes an intermediate operation space in between bodies and society. This panel, organised by Tom Tlalim, brings together four artists to discuss their work with the body in its techno-political settings, and for a discussion on body performance through media, and its affect on the body.

Intention, Effort, and Restraint: The EMG in Musical Performance // Prof Atau Tanaka

Professor of Media Computing

Embodied Audiovisual Interaction (EAVI) research unit

Goldsmiths, University of London

I will look at the musical affordances of electromygram (EMG) biosensors, and describe principles of effort, intention, and restraint in leveraging these affordances for expressive performative practice. I explore specific affordances of the EMG in creative practice and performance contexts. We first situate the electromyogram signal within the range of different physiological measures, from imaging technologies, to bio-electrical signals, to biophysical effects. For each of these types of measure, we look at specific affordances that may or may not make them apt in performance contexts. These affordances include: realtime/non-realtime, invasive systems, voluntary control, and legibility. These low level affordances are discussed as vectors of authenticity framed in Auslander’s notion of “liveness”.

 Uneasy Listening // Dr. Susan Schuppli

Acting Director, Centre for Research Architecture

The use of the term “drone” to describe UAVs has came about as the result of a visual schema rather than by acoustic filiation, as is most often presumed. However, this etymological confusion involving the reordering of vision and sound is, I argue, folded into the very political reorganization of drone warfare taking place today, with its attendant claims regarding the minimal impact of unmanned aerial violence upon civilian life. Drone vision is arguably precise, but drone sonics are vague and diffused—producing a difference in both degree and kind of injury. While the targeting accuracy of Predator and Reaper drones is conjoined to their ability to send almost instantaneous information back to operators who observe terrestrial life in FATA, Pakistan on screens sometimes thousands of kilometers away, their sonic impact is dispersed across village populations and ranges in volume from debilitating to benign, depending upon the aerial proximity of the drone and the varying acoustic properties and contours of the ground, which effect the manner in which sound waves are absorbed and bounced around. The objective of visual surveillance is, in short, directed towards a vertical event—a laser-guided missile strike—whereas the by-product of such drone vision manifests itself as a horizontal distribution of acoustic emissions at varying intensities of amplification, resulting in more psychological distress than physical injury. When a Hellfire missile attack suddenly emerges out of this atmospheric “drone,” it temporarily reorganizes the fields of both vision and sound as the impact is converted into a penetrating acoustic singularity and the visual field redistributed through the violent disarticulation of bodies and buildings that begin to merge with ground.

The body as a sensor: Sonic and Somatic translations of the B’tselem Video Archive // Tom Tlalim & Arkadi Zaides

Tom Tlalim: Artist, PhD Candidate Goldsmiths University of London

Arkadi Zaides: Choreographer, Performer

In 2007 the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories (B’Tselem) launched the project “Armed with Cameras”, where Palestinians living in areas prone to conflict are provided with video cameras with which to document human rights violations. This archive of filmed testimonies is the subject of Tom Tlalim and Arkadi Zaides collaborative research into inscriptions of the political conflict on the voice, aural space, and on the human body. Understanding the territorial dynamics of this region requires dynamic means of investigation that can probe the continuous modulations of social and spatial flows, in the collision with the resonances of powerful institutions. This practice-based research proposes sound and choreographical research as material devices with which to probe to the political dynamics of the region and their affect on the Israeli society. In this talk, Tlalim and Zaides speak in dialogue on questions that emerge from this research.

Mediatized Performance: The Performing Body and New Media Art  is funded by the Media and Communications Department, Goldsmiths College and is supported by Goldsmiths College Graduate School and the Media and Communications Department, Goldsmiths College.

For more information please contact Phaedra Shanbaum at

Carmin Karasik definition of HacktivismAtau TanakaAtau Tanaka on Intention, Effort and RestrainWorkshop TimePanel on sonic bodiesHacktivism as a form of artGavin Butt and Ben WatersAnna Furse's ideasAnna Furse Don.Juan Who Anna Furse1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s