Researching the body

A 3 minute intro to trans-disciplinary research into embodiment from MODE (I’m hoping to get to some of their fantastic training events soon):

MODE Blog

Authors: Carey Jewitt & Sara Price

The mode seminar on embodiment and digital technologies (03.04.14) drew an interesting interdisciplinary group together. The word cloud made from the three key words that each of the participants used to introduce themselves shows something of this mix.

word cloud embodiment

As one of the participants commented, embodiment draws together people from across a wide range of disciplines – at this particular event from sociology, art, performance, psychology, media and communication studies, literacy and education studies, human computer interaction, design, and architecture.

We explored what is meant by embodiment (embodied cognition), drawing on some theoretical ideas around the body being the ‘hub of all meaning making’ (Merleau Ponty, 1945), highlighting cognition as enacted (through sensori-motor/ action); embedded (through beingness in the environment and social and cultural contexts); and extended (through notions of offloading cognition/ manipulation/ transformation; and finally the idea of an ‘amalgamated mind’ (Rowland, 2010), where…

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[CFP] Fifth International Symposium on Music/Sonic Art: Practices and Theories

26-29 June, 2014
Hochschule für Musik, Karlsruhe –
Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI)
Am Schloss Gottesaue 7, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

Keynote speaker: Rolf Inge Godøy (University of Oslo)

We are pleased to announce the Fifth International Symposium on Music and Sonic Art: Practices and Theories (MuSA 2014), an interdisciplinary event to be held in Karlsruhe, Germany at the Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Musikinformatik (IMWI). MuSA 2014 is also supported by Middlesex University, London.

Proposals for sessions and individual papers for the Fifth International Symposium on Music and Sonic Art: Practices and Theories are invited from academics, independent researchers, practitioners and post-graduate students. Presentation formats include academic research papers (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion); reports on practice-based/artistic research or educational programmes (20 minutes + 10 minutes for discussion); and workshops and panel sessions (30 minutes + 15 minutes for discussion). The Symposium committee encourages presentations in which practice forms an integral part of the research. All proposals will be ‘blind’ peer-reviewed. The Symposium language will be English.

THEME AND TOPICS:

The principal aim of MuSA 2014 is to advance interdisciplinary investigations in – as well as between – music and sonic art. MuSA 2014 continues to promote this aim by probing the role of embodied approaches through this year’s theme:

exploring embodiment in music and sonic art.

We invite submissions on the following, and other related topics:

• Body movement and emergence of meaning;
• Embodied approaches to creativity;
• Kinematics and haptics as background for music and sonic art    research;
• Gesture and expression;
• Methods for embodied analysis;
• Phenomenology of the performing body;
• The body within socio-cultural contexts of music and sonic art;
• Pedagogical contexts for embodied approaches to music and sonic art;
• The body in interpersonal sound-based communication;
• Ecological, biological, neuroscientific and evolutionary approaches to embodiment;
• Historical roots of embodied approaches in theory and practice;
• Technology and embodiment;
• Critical discourses of embodiment in practice and research;
• Embodied aesthetics;
• Embodiment in collaborative research;

Within the thriving discipline of musical performance studies, there is a
general tendency to speak of ‘the performer’ as an abstract category
without taking into account the kind of musical instrument that mediates
the act of music making and music as a temporally emergent, sounding
phenomenon. In reality, different kinds of musical instruments involve
different expressive means (and at times different expressive/artistic
aims), engender different phenomenologies of performance making, and generate different kinds of performer identities. The nature of the
embodied interaction with different instruments in composition and
performance, and the expressive and communicative meanings that emerge as a result of such interaction constitute a largely unexplored research territory.

The purpose of this one-day event within MuSA 2014 is to re-think the
nature of the relationship between music making and the musical instrument.  Some of the topics that will be explored include:

• The acoustical, musical, cultural, symbolic, and ritualistic
qualities of musical instruments and the relationships between these
(theoretically) distinct kinds of qualities;
• The discourses that exist in relation to musical instruments in
different genres, styles and traditions;
• The gestural affordances and ergonomic principles of musical
instruments and the musical meanings that emerge as a result of these
affordances and principles;
• Performers, improvisers and their instruments: phenomenologies of
music making in the context of particular kinds of musical instruments;
• Composer and instruments: the material, acoustical and expressive
qualities of instruments and their relationship to musical languages
composers create;
• Relationships between creativity in performance, nature of musical
interpretation and musical instruments;
• The role of the musical instrument in the creation of musical
identities;

We invite proposals on any research area related to the nature and use of western acoustical instruments, traditional ethnic instruments and
digital/virtual instruments:

ABSTRACT FORMAT:

Please submit an abstract of approximately 250-300 words as an e-mail attachment to musa2014@btinternet.com

As contributions will be ‘blind’ peer-reviewed, please do not include
information that might facilitate identification from the abstract. In
addition, please include separately the name(s) of the author(s),
institutional affiliation (if any) and short biography (approximately 100
words). Deadline for the receipt of abstracts is Friday, 21 March 2014.
Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 April.

Please specify whether you wish your abstract to be considered for the
one-day ‘Re-thinking the musical instrument’ event.

REGISTRATION:

The Symposium fees are: €120 for delegates, €100 for presenters and €60 for students and others who qualify for concessions.

 

Call for Works: Music, Embodiment and the Body

Colchester New Music (in collaboration with the Sonic Arts Forum) have put out a call for works that respond to the theme ‘Music, Embodiment and the Body.’

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Works should be submitted by 30th September 2013. Selected works will be shown in Colchester on 2-3rd November 2013. Click on the image to see further details.

[CFP] TaPRA 2013 | Embodied Engagement: Participatory And Immersive Performance

Performance and the Body Working Group // Performance and New Technologies Working Group

University of Glasgow and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS)
4th- 6th September 2013

 

The Performance and the Body and Performance and New Technologies Working Groups are joining forces this year to explore different bodily, aesthetic, political, ethical and economical aspects of participation in the current performance milieu. In a performance context where hierarchies of participation are being reconfigured and traditional authorial claims are under stress, new articulations of spectator/performer reciprocity can no longer be disregarded. Focusing on audience experience, we intend to examine possibilities of participant (spectators and performers) agency and empowerment within different modes of performance transaction.
According to Adrian Heathfield, contemporary performance has shifted aesthetically from ‘the optic to the haptic, from the distant to the immersive, from the static relation to the interactive’. The dialogue between the two Working Groups aims to explore the productive tensions between bodies and technologies in the development of this shift. The contested term ‘immersive’ is a rich, under-theorized concept which pulls in and works across distinct constituencies of performance. It calls upon diverse technologies to create its performance environments and promote active bodily engagement. Immersion both as an artistic intention and a perceived process is identified with concepts of viscerality, authenticity and immediacy. Yet the question remains as to how effective immersion can be in engaging audiences mentally, emotionally and corporeally.
Proposals do not need to address both issues of bodies and technologies, but might consider the following issues, though these are not exclusive:

* The bodily risk of participation
* Immersive practices as a democratisation of performance
* Spectator’s authority, authorship and agency in immersive performances
* Discomfort and fear: the ethics of enforced participation
* Sensory inscribed experiences: synaesthetic experiments of flesh
* Soundscapes: the corporeality of immersion
* Ethics of immersion in locative games, mobile interfaces, social media platforms
* Mapping and constructing hybrid, artificial and mixed-media spaces
* Temporalities of immersion
* Embodiment/Disembodiment: game space and everyday life
* Cognitive engagement: willing suspension of disbelief in performance
* ‘Passive’ and ‘active’ audiences
* Political contexts of participatory work
* Empathy and audience engagement
* Intentionality and sensual experience

Proposals
Please send a 300 word proposal, a short biographical statement, and an outline of technical requirements by 29th April 2013 to the working groups convenors.
Proposals, if accepted, may be directed into a range of presentational formats: traditional panels (with 20 minute papers); pre-circulated papers that form the basis for a short presentation and discussion; or, where appropriate, performance-based panels. While we welcome statements of preference, final decisions will be made by the working groups convenors and will be indicated at the time of acceptance.
We welcome alternative, practice-as-research or performative proposals that engage rigorously with the theme, but these must be achievable with limited resources and within a 20-30 minute time period.The convenors of the Performance and the Body Working Group are James Frieze and Lib Taylor. The convenors of the New Technologies Working Group are Martin Blain, Maria Chatzichristodoulou, and Eirini Nedelkopoulou.

 

[CFP] Music and Philosopy: Embodiment and the Physical

Call for Papers

Music and Philosophy

3rd Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association Music and Philosophy Study Group

Department of Music and Department of Philosophy, King’s College London
19-20 July 2013

Deadline for proposals: Friday 8 February 2013

Optional theme: ‘Embodiment and the Physical’

Conference website:

http://www.musicandphilosophy.ac.uk/conference-2013/

[Event] Embodied creativity and improvisation in Hindustani music

IMR South Asian Music and Dance Forum
Thursday 14th February 14:00 – 17.30

Room G22, Senate House, Russell Square, London

14:00 Round Table: “Embodied creativity”
A panel discussion of issues arising from Dard Neuman’s article “Pedagogy, practice, and embodied creativity in Hindustani music”, in the journal Ethnomusicology (56/3, Fall 2012, pp. 426–449).
Speakers: John Baily, Jennie Henley, Viram Jasani, Nicolas Magriel, Nikki Moran, Laudan Nooshin, Frances Shepherd, Chloe Zadeh
Chair: Richard Widdess
Followed by open discussion.

16:00 Break for tea

16:30 Prof. David Clarke (University of Newcastle) “In pursuit of the diachronic: a generative approach to North Indian raga performance.”

All welcome. Delegate fee payable on the door – £5.

[CFP] Frontiers | Music and the Embodied Mind

Music and the Embodied Mind: a jam session for theorists on musical improvisation, instrumental self-extension, and the biological and social basis of music and well-being

Hosted by: Adam M. Croom, University of Pennsylvania, USA
Deadline for Abstract Submissions: 28th February 2013
Deadline for Article Submissions:  31st August 2013

“As animals our lives are marked by rhythms, and the rhythmical activities of ventilation and heart beat are tangible evidence of the life force in each of us”, Taylor and colleagues write in their (1999) Physiological Reviews article on the cardiovascular and respiratory system. With this “life force” as a pulse reverberating deep through the body, it’s as if our heart beat and breath breaks the silence of non-life as rhythms of nature that move us like music. One might ask: Are we not something akin to an instrument of music, our lives, something of an improvisation? What is the nature of the undeniably intimate relationship between music, the body and mind?

Concerns like these have been common to both scholars and performers alike. For instance, Einstein once reported that “I see my life in terms of music” and that “Life without playing music is inconceivable for me”. In Phenomenology of Perception Merleau-Ponty discussed the “kinetic melody” of the body, while the great jazz musician and saxophone improviser Ornette Coleman explained his technique as one of “activating the idea that’s going through my nervous system”. Sally Ness (1992) further discussed “the dynamic mentality of one’s neuromusculature” during her analysis of dance in Body, Movement, and Culture, and the saxophone inventor Adolphe Sax argued that the “true” musician and their music “exist through each other, and are but one”. Advancements in the cognitive sciences have additionally enabled new evidence regarding the bodily basis of music perception, cognition, and action to come to light, inspiring fresh insights and more empirically informed theorizing.

Yet despite a wide and growing interest in the relationship between music, the body and mind, along with promising technological advances, relatively little empirical and theoretical work has been explicitly devoted to investigating the topic of music and the embodied mind, and what work does exist remains largely dispersed across different publication sources spanning different academic fields. Accordingly, the aim of this Research Topic will be to unite an interdisciplinary group of scientists, theorists, and performers to address several of the liveliest questions regarding music and the embodied mind.

Scientists working on music from all disciplines are encouraged to submit original empirical research, philosophers and theorists of music are encouraged to submit fresh hypothesis and theory articles, and musicians as well as dancers are encouraged to submit perspective and opinion pieces reflecting their first-person knowledge of these performing arts. The aim is for an integration of theory, empirical data, and first-person reports in order to better understand, and drive new research on, the topic of music and the embodied mind.

Articles of interest include, but are not limited to, those discussing musical improvisation, self-extension through musical instruments, the evolution and development of music, the biological and social basis of music and well-being, and conceptual frameworks for understanding the nature of music and the embodied mind more generally. Critical commentary will also be warmly received.

Abstract submissions should not exceed 1,000 words and will be carefully selected by the Frontiers editor.

Further information is available from Frontiers.

A small warning: Frontiers journals are open access (good!) of the kind you have to pay to publish in (not so good unless you have a chunky research grant or a very supportive institution!).