Volume 21, Issue 2 – On/At Sea
Deadline: 6 July 2015
ON SEA / AT SEA considers how performance practice and critical perspectives on performance can be affected by the fluidity, endless motion, unchartable terrains, and endless liquid condition of the sea.
Stories about the sea or set on the sea are almost always performed on dry stages. How often does performance go to sea, as a place? Does the need for survival in this place render artistic, performative expression as something superfluous and trivial? How can a performance culture be shaped by this liquid, ever-moving terrain? Is perhaps, the sea a place where performance is suspended momentarily? – lost, at sea? For we are seldom actually ON the sea: a boat may seem to float on it, but it is always half-submerged, half-sinking into this medium. And being AT sea is a giving over to the elements, a risk taken, and a casting off from attachments and moorings.
The sea is a space just beyond every coastline of the world: to many a homogenous surface of restless, endless movement that connects all the coastlines of the world. The sea is said to be just as unknown to us as the stars and galaxies. But this unknown is an ‘inner space’, within our planetary atmosphere: a place of submerged things and intimate secrets, that lie so close to us yet remains a mystery. Beneath the planetary cortex where synapses flash between cities and grids of terrestrial industry, there is the ocean, our space within. The odd fibre-optic cable is laid down, occasionally a submarine blinks its lonely lights here, and wreckage drifts to rest here… but on the whole this space sleeps beneath us, detached, and at a different speed. The sea is our planetary subconscious, keeping secrets, then revealing them with a theatrical power: with the wreck of the Titanic, the ruins of Heracleon, the horrors awaiting the salvagers of the tomblike Kursk submarine a year after it was disabled on the Russian seabed, and the [as yet] unfound wreck of Air Malaysia Flight 370. Most recently, it has been revealed as a tragic space of border-crossing, with the attempted crossing of oceans by refugees from North Africa, Indonesia, and Haiti into westernised ‘promised lands’ (Europe, North America, Australia). As well as a site for human fears and tragedies, the sea also carries within it environmental anxieties and portents of collapse: the giant North Pacific gyre, the dismembered trunks of finned sharks, the explosion of Deep Water Horizon in 2011, or the bellies of dead fish and animals filled with plastic.
This editorial interest focuses on the sea as an unbounded, unfixed territory with no recognizable performance cartographies, asking the question – how often does performance go to sea? This is both a literal and poetic question, thus inquiring about specific nautical performances ‘on the sea’, as well as the poetic state of being ‘at sea’, that is, within a fluid, unfixed, or liquid condition. This issue of Performance Research also responds to the themes and discourse generated by the PSi#21 Fluid States globally dispersed conference in 2015. The editors invite contributions research projects and Psi#21 Fluid States participants that:
- Gather texts on the sea and its relation to performance
- Examine performance at sea, under the sea, on boats, or in coastal/tidal areas
- Consider unknown spaces beyond and within, especially where the sea and oceans are concerned.
- Draw on discourses from the PSi Fluid States dispersed conference
- Develop new definitions for fluidity and nomadism as philosophic, relational paradigms
- Investigate ‘liquid dramaturgies’, moving away from perspectives on performance as a linear experience beholden to dramaturgical or narrative structures.
- Present new perspectives for performance, emerging from a philosophy born from the endless movement of the ocean, celebrating liquid, restless, and volatile contexts or processes.
- Examine new cartographies and navigation for performance in liquid states
- Address issues of migrancy, temporality, flux, uncertainty, and transience in relation to contemporary performance, contemporary culture, and oceanic concerns
‘On Sea / At Sea’ invites artists, practitioners, and theorists to submit proposals for critical articles (between 2,000 and 8,000 words), documents or artist’s pages, which examine, re-perform, or re-present performance in relation to the sea and liquid, fluid conditions. In keeping with the inclusive nature of the ‘Fluid States’ project, submissions are invited from a broad spectrum of perspectives and practices, focusing on a common relationship with liquidity, the sea, and oceanic states.
Sam Trubridge is the Artistic Director of The Performance Arcade in Wellington, NZ and the convenor for ‘Deep Anatomy’ – the Bahamas cluster for Psi#21 Fluid States.
Richard Gough is Artistic Director of the Centre for Performance Research, Professor of Performance Research at Falmouth University and a Fellow of the International Research Center “Interweaving Performance Cultures”, Freie Universitat, Berlin. He is the general editor of Performance Research and was founding president of PSi.
Proposals: 6 July 2015
First Drafts: October 2015
Publication Date: April 2016
ALL proposals, submissions and general enquiries should be sent direct to the Journal at: email@example.com
General Guidelines for Submissions:
- Before submitting a proposal we encourage you to visit our website (http://www.performance-research.org/) and familiarize yourself with the journal.
- Proposals will be accepted by e-mail (MS-Word or RTF). Proposals should not exceed one A4 side.
- Please include your surname in the file name of the document you send.
- Submission of images and visual material is welcome, PROVIDED that all attachments DO NOT exceed 5MB, and a maximum of 5 images.
- Submission of a proposal will be taken to imply that it presents original, unpublished work not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
- If your proposal is accepted, you will be invited to submit an article in first draft by the deadline indicated above. On the final acceptance of a completed article you will be asked to sign an author agreement in order for your work to be published in Performance Research.