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July 27, 2006

MOBILE/ IMMOBILIZED: Art, biotechnologies & (Dis)abilities

Call for Papers

MOBILE / IMMOBILIZED: Art, biotechnologies & (Dis)abilities :: Call for Papers for the colloquium :: Montréal, October 2007 :: Please submit, to the Centre Interuniversitaire en arts médiatiques :: gram[at]uqam.ca :: a short biography (15 lines) :: an abstract of 250 words maximum :: before September 1, 2006.

A human being would lack nothing, if one were to admit that there are a thousand ways to live. - Canguilhem :: Following the activities that took place within the framework of two colloquia, "Interfaces et Sensoralité" (2003) and "Arts & Biotechnologies" (2004), and based on the work with the handicapped conducted, over several years, by the group at Cyprès in Marseille, we believe it is opportune to provide a site for insightful reflections on questions relating to (dis)abilities. At the intersection of several contemporary art projects, bioscientific research and technological innovations, the notion of deficiency seems to be one of the most fertile and troubling forces. It certainly has a pronounced affect on the experimental art scene, where it generates a significant array of creative, phantasmagorical and symbolic artworks.

Redesigning the Human

Indeed, it seems important, at the present time, to evaluate how technologies and biotechnologies affect the condition of viability, of autonomy and disability of people, and to observe any signs of evolution that signal an increase in cognitive, mental, imaginary and symbolic capabilities. All disciplines involved in the redesigning of the human being are included within the framework of this colloquium. On the one hand, these disciplines occupy the central stage, determining and illuminating the orientation and objectives of the project Mobile / Immobilized, and on the other hand, they serve as a gauge, allowing one to evaluate the techno-anthropological and political impact of practices exerted by humans on humans.

The Augmented Body

Increasingly, technological developments give the impression that human beings are inadequately equipped. This section of the colloquium concentrates on artistic works whose orientation and experimental factors open up conceptual possibilities as well as practical applications for people with deficiencies or constraints (Virtual reality, biofeedback, motion captures, interactivity, synthetic voices, sound, technological extensions, implants, etc.) Artworks will also be presented by people with disabilities who have, because of their deficiencies and their differences, strengthened their sensorial capabilities, and so produce unique poetic and phantasmagorical worlds with technological tools (images, digital photographs, video…). Since such works are adapted to particular disabilities, in certain cases they may result in technical or technological solutions that offer potential uses for the broader

Art as a Life Laboratory

The question here is the study of artistic approaches that propose an important slippage towards a centre of gravity different from the site of current art practices. It is a matter of considering new artworks and artistic processes as cognitive tools, charged at one and the same time with an emotion and with indissociable cognition, artworks that permit one to conceive of strategies for inventive learning and adaptation in order to try to find new symbolic and sensory forms. These approaches permit one to redefine artistic activity in terms of the laboratory of life by actively participating in the development of tools that work for, and in concert with, handicapped persons. This can be done by considering specific imaginaries, unique forms of creations and creativity, and modes of global communication.

Artists, theorists, (bio)scientists, and (bio)engineers) working in related fields are invited to present their artworks, ideas and research, as well as certain developments and applications in this domain.

Posted by jo at July 27, 2006 01:32 PM