CFP: Performing Artefacts An interdisciplinary conference hosted by The Performance of the Real Research Theme The University of Otago, ?tepoti/Dunedin, New Zealand 18-19 November 2019

Type of post: Association news item
Posted By: Glen McGillivray
Status: Current
Date Posted: Mon, 11 Mar 2019

As our world becomes increasingly digitised, we ask ‘what role do physical objects continue to play in our lived realities?’ This conference considers how peoples’ experiences and knowledges of ‘the real’ are communicated via performances involving artefacts – performances of the everyday, as well as activities explicitly labelled ‘performances.’ It looks at how ‘performance’ and ‘the real’ are understood with respect to artefacts, as well as at how and why peoples’ realities are communicated performatively using artefacts. 


Some specific provocations to consider include: 

·      How are artefacts used performatively to represent or reframe various kinds of realities?

·      Can or should virtual artefacts replace physical ones during performances? What are the affects/effects of doing so?

·      How are artefacts used to blur how people perceive/conceive ‘the real’?

·      What is the importance of artefacts’ objectivity or subjectivity when they are used performatively?

·      How are peoples’ pasts, presents and futures represented, communicated and understood via performances utilising artefacts? 

·      What are the socio-political and cultural realities of performing with particular kinds of artefacts? Are certain ontologies and epistemologies privileged or marginalised in such performances?


We welcome abstracts for papers, performances, panels or other presentation formats, such as installations. Please submit a 250-300-word abstract of your presentation and a 150-word biography for each presenter by July 31, 2019. Please send us your abstract as a Word document, and use your surname as the document title. Please clearly indicate the title of your presentation, as well as your full name (first name, surname) and institutional affiliation (if relevant). Please send your abstracts or any enquiries to the Theme administrator, Alex, at There are a limited number of travel bursaries available for postgrad students. Please contact the theme administrator for details.


The Performance of the Real is a University of Otago funded interdisciplinary Research Theme. The project is to investigate what it is about representations and performances of the real that make them particularly compelling and pervasive in our current age. At its core is the study of how performance/performativity, in its many cultural, aesthetic, political and social forms and discourses, represents, critiques, stages, and constructs/reconstructs the real, as well as the ethical, social and form-related issues involved in such acts.




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