Splice Symposium: encounters in medicine, science, performance and music (CfP, Symposium, London, 15-16 November 2013)

Splice Symposium: encounters in medicine, science, performance and music
15th and 16th November
University of Notre Dame’s London Centre

To book a FREE place or propose a paper/presentations, please click here. Proposals are due by October 25.

The Splice Symposium is an opportunity for performance, music, science and medical practitioners and scholars to celebrate and debate the recent ‘scientific turn’ in contemporary performance and music practice. It presents a range of artworks and projects that variously test the boundaries between performance, music, science and medicine.  It explores the practical and philosophical aspects of collaboration and intersections between and across these disciplines.

The Splice Symposium draws attention to performance, music (and forms that cross these two disciplines) as practices that have yet to receive the same attention as the visual arts in terms of their engagement with science and medicine. Through discussion with contemporary artists and scientists, it asks how performance and music might be distinct – from each other and from other art-forms – in terms of such disciplinary engagements.

Science and medicine have been perennial subjects for theatrical performance and there is a long history of ‘science plays’ that stretches from Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus to Frayne’s Copenhagen. Likewise some canonical music pieces, including Holtz’ The Planets, have taken scientific understanding as their subject matter.  However, the premise of this symposium is that the impact of postmodernist tendencies in both the arts and the sciences, has paved the way for other forms of engagement between sciences, and music and performance.  Thus, it considers the value of performance and music as more than a form of ‘science communication’ (a way of disseminating scientific understanding to non-expert audiences) or a pedagogical tool. And it regards science as more than subject matter. Seminal works such as Murail’s Gondwana, Reich’s Three Tales, the algorithmic composition of Xenakis, Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach (with a score by Philip Glass), Complicite’s Mnemonic and Bjork’s Biophilia exemplify a range of compositional and collaborative strategies available to the contemporary sci-arts practitioner.

A detailed programme will be published shortly.  Confirmed participants include:

Friday 15th November: Jenny Paton (Wellcome Trust), Nicola Triscot (Arts Catalyst), Alex Kelly (Third Angel), David Rosenberg (Shunt), Brian Lobel, Mark Espiner (Sound and Fury), Tony Myatt (University of Surrey) and Simon Park (University of Surrey)

Saturday 16th November: Professor Kirsten Shepherd-Barr (Science on Stage, 2006), Suzy Wilson (Clod Ensemble), Melanie Wilson, David Bermen (physicist/Flow Motion) and Jean Dibble (University of Notre Dame).

The Splice Symposium is a product of Chimera Network, a research network exploring collaborations between science, medicine, performance and music. In is presented in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame London Centre. Chimera is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [AH/K003518/1] and based at Kingston University and the University of Surrey.


About Centre for Medical Humanities

Centre for Medical Humanities
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