Dumb type symposium
Rethinking dumb type and the birth of new media dramaturgy

The interweaving of ‘new dramaturgy’ (Kerkhoven) and new media have changed practices and ideas in performance and lie at the centre of an emergent new paradigm that we call new media dramaturgy or NMD.
NMD calls for a different and interwoven approach to understanding composition and representation in performance and in the ways that these performances engage with aspects of politics, society, culture, ideas of belonging, of place and time and, and with the reality of intercultural, imbricated forms of globality.


The growth of NMD has been so rapid that our capacity for critical reflection is underdeveloped. What elements are important to the appearance of radical new means of composition and to what ends? Is there an enduring legacy or trace of a new media performance vocabulary?


This symposium will address these questions in relation the influential and globally significant work of dumb type, whose performances from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s offer an important historical record of the progression of NMD; a progression wherein performance is seen to undergo dramatic transformations: shifts from representation to sensuality, from semiotic abstraction into intermediality, from singularity into a multiplication of performance imagery, and from the perspective of viewing to experience of immersion.


We invite proposals for presentations, papers, reflections and contributions on all aspects of dumb types work including:

Following our symposium, we are planning a publication of significant documentation, discussions and critique.


Confirmed speakers and participants include: Peter Eckersall, Fujii Shintaro (convenors), Kawaguchi Takao, Koyamada Toru, Otori Hidenaga, Katherine Mezur, Sara Jansen, Helena Grehan, Edward Scheer, Barbara Geilhorn, Yoshida Miya, Yamaki Shinya.


Date and Location: 2-4 April 2013: International Research Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" Freie Universität Berlin, Grunewaldstrasse 34, 12165 Berlin, Germany.


Information and proposals: Peter Eckersall (eckersal@unimelb.edu.au) by 31 January 2013.


Supported by: International Research Center "Interweaving Performance Cultures" Freie Universität, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne, Australian Research Council.

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