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Collectivities in TransMigration: Animating Bodies Across Borders
 November 19-22, 2015 | University of Texas at Austin, USA

July 3, 2015

 

 

 

Call for Participants

New deadline: July 15, 2015

 

Convergence 2015 | Collectivities in TransMigration: Animating Bodies Across Borders attends to the myriad points of connection among bodies, ideologies, and spiritualities beyond (and within) national borders. Despite the specificity of the politics practiced in different countries, some social and political scenarios—such as the genocide of black and indigenous populations, the criminalization of social movements, and capitalism and its multiple forms of dispossession—operate beyond the borders of the nation-state. As a consequence, different forms of collectivities have emerged, united by the convergence of their political and affective experiences and by the exchange of resistance strategies that have TransMigrated through different means. The prefix “Trans-” in “TransMigration” expands our understanding of what and who can migrate, and of when, where, and how these migrations occur. Across the Americas, collectivities are animated, for example, through shared racial, gender, and sexual experiences, ideologies, foodways, memories, transtemporalities, and politics, resulting in expanded nationalities that respond to but also resist geographical and physical boundaries. TransMigration creates these multifaceted relationships and communities, which may exist in a single geographic location, straddle national and cultural borders, or be imagined communities emerging from various networks and communions.

 

Convergence 2015 is an invitation to animate collectivities throughout the Americas. Animation evokes multiple processes of multimedia creations, animism, corporeal and transcendent states of being, and geographical mapping. This Hemi GSI Convergence draws together activism, scholarly discourses, and artistic practices in order to animate TransMigration. Our guiding questions include: How do collectivities experience transferences across borders? How do socio-political scenarios build transnational collectivities? How do new configurations of socio-political networks question the very notion of “collectivities” and offer new forms of connections and communions? How do migrating ideas, experiences, and collectivities disrupt binaries? In what ways are bodies transtemporal? How does a whole collectivity TransMigrate into a single body, and vice versa? How do we animate migrating ancestors? How is our Convergence part of these TransMigratory collectivities?

 

The Convergence 2015 organizers invite interested scholars, artists, and activists to submit proposals to participate in one of our workgroups or workshops. While workgroups facilitate discussion and theorization through the sharing of academic research, workshops encourage discussion and theorization through practical/physical work. Workgroup and workshop participants will begin collaborating online in the months prior to the Convergence to explore methods that will collectively produce new strategies for innovating both knowledge and practice. Descriptions of our workgroups and workshops can be found below.

 

 

Organizers (The University of Texas at Austin)

Co-chairs: Gustavo Melo Cerqueira and Verónica Rivera-Negrón
Executive Committee: Bart Pitchford, Brianna Figueroa, Gabby Randel, Lydia Nelson, Maya Berry, Nicole Martin, Samuel Blake, and Sebastian Gallardo.

 

The 2015 Hemi GSI Convergence is made possible by the generous support of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics (NYU); Canadian Consortium for Performance and Politics in the Americas, funded in large part through Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC); the Performance as Public Practice program (Department of Theatre and Dance, UT Austin); The College of Fine Arts (UT Austin); The Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (UT Austin); and JGS Photography.

Visit our Hemi GSI Convergence 2015 page, our Facebook page, or https://hemigsi.wordpress.com for more information and updates.

 

PHOTO/FOTO: J Griffin Stewart, courtesy of JGS Photo

If you have questions, please contact us at hemigsi@gmail.com

 

2) Workshop: Digital Collectivities
Co-conveners: Ana Carolina von Hertwig (independent artist), Alex Santana (Tulane University), Santiago Tavera (Concordia University)

 

This group explores the effect that technology and media have on our perception of the world. This enhanced perspective enables the creation of our own spaces without differentiation between fact and fiction. This digital identity allows for a perception of spaces and times as containing both physical and virtual realms that only exist symbiotically. Cultures emerge from the communication and movement between multiple places, histories, and subject positions. These cultures are always being transformed and are in a constant process of translation. A doubling or splitting of cultural identities and the national selves is always occurring­­, in this way denying the world's materiality and the body's physicality. One always finds oneself in the here and there, even as the here and there are found within oneself. This use of technology as a tool of experimentation within a stage of infinitudes allows for the disembodiment or dislocation of the self, through a mediated vision and the making of other possibilities. Technology does not provide answers or solutions, but rather ambiguities between what is taken as truth and what is taken as fiction.

 

More than just a functional tool, technology is a device that stimulates the imagination and stages the envisionment of infinite or multiple possibilities. Spaces and bodies have been experienced digitally as a “second life,” an illusion of space through stereographic images, and as a network of multiple distant and digital spaces that have become our virtual realities. With an increased access to spaces experienced through mediated technology, what effects should we expect in terms of how we inhabit, understand, and perceive architecture, space, art, and culture? How do artists, museums, and other cultural institutions adapt to these changes? What happens when artistic activities abandon physical materiality and instead take the form of digital files and documents, experienced outside of physical space?How do developments in net art, New Institutionalism, post-internet theory, hacktivism, and digital dissidence reflect these changes?

 

This workshop stages an exploration among theory, materials, technology, the body, space, and the Convergence itself. Thinking about the effects of the digital, our aim is to engage in a web-based collective performance, through the use of both the technical equipment available, and the participants' own technological gadgets and devices. Our objective is to connect different times and spaces through the web, as well as to include physical interaction with an urban environment, person-to-person engagements, and digital possibilities.

 

To apply, please submit:
1. CV
2. Short bio
3. Statement of interest
4. Portfolio/ Website (specifically, five images and/or video clip links)

 

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There are 13 different workshops, check out these websites for more details:

hemisphericinstitute.org/hemi/en/convergence-2015

facebook.com/hemicon15
hemigsi.wordpress.com

 

 

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