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Online-Symposium: STAGING COMPLEXITY. A laboratory on art and theatre in the digital age


19.03., 11:00 h17:00 h

© Cheers for Fears

Due to a decision of the city authorities in Dortmund concerning COVID-19 our plans for a lab on site had to be canceled. We are therefore testing the potential and limits of digitality in a concentrated online symposium. Daily information, registration and video link www.cheersforfears.de

Digital technologies have changed the way we think, work, love, communicate and live together. Algorithms regulate the flow of traffic, social networks create new forms of relationships and management systems optimize the workflow. Digitality also shapes artistic content, transforms established modes of presentation and creates new art forms. How do the arts reflect and explore these profound changes?

We invite you to analyse and discuss the digital and networked present in the framework of a public online conference to question the potential, but also the limits of digital technologies in society, culture and art: How does the digital transformation affect our social practices? And how does it affect artistic topics, narratives and designs? What does this mean for us as directors, video artists, actors or musicians? What for our audience? How do we experience art and cultural practices that not only makes use of technology, but is at home in computer-generated environments?

Online conference
Staging Complexity deals with the challenges and potential of digital media technologies in the framework of on online conference on March 19. Opening the conference, Diana McCarty portrays techno-feminist ways of acting. After that, Anja Breljak deals with the fact that computer technologies have become an integral part of our privacy, then Christian Sievers and Régine Debatty ask how artists relate to dispositives of uncertainty, control and precariousness and Philipp Jonathan Ehmann discusses how social networks and computer games change narratives in the performing and visual arts. Last but not least, the symposium creates space for discussions and exchange about visions and fears in digital times.

Notes on the technical process ::: On the day of the conference we will paste a link from 10 a.m. to participate in the conference. Active participation in the webinar-format with the telecommunication provider Zoom is guaranteed. If you would like to participate actively please make sure that your computer is equipped with a microphone and possibly a webcam. If you have any questions, contact us at labor@cheersforfears.de. We also paste a telephone number on the conference morning so that you can reach us with technical questions.

Program overview for Thursday. 19. March

10:30 Online video conference opens for test runs

11:00 Opening & welcome

  • Michael Eickhoff (Akademie für Theater und Digitalität, Theater Dortmund)
  • Sina-Marie Schneller, Jascha Sommer (Cheers for Fears)

11:30 Intervention I

  • Diana McCarty: Be(coming) media – Techno-Feminist Pasts, Presents & Potentials

12:00 Discussion on Intervention I

12:30 Intervention II

  • Anja Breljak: Staging Affect? Digitalisierung als/in sozio-affektive/n Prozesse/n

13:00 Discussion on Intervention II

13:30 Break

14:30 Tele-Panel: Künstlerischer Umgang mit (post)digitalen Herausforderungen

  • Christian Sievers: Trackedness. Der Traum von Kontrolle, der Umgang mit
    Unsicherheit – und was die Kunst daraus macht (DE)
  • Régine Debatty: Where are the click-luddites? (ENG)
  • Philipp Jonathan Ehmann: Multimediatheater – ganz ohne Medien, ganz ohne
    Theater (DE)

16:00 Break

16:15 Discussion on Tele-Panel

17:00 End


The laboratory Staging Complexity is organized by Cheers for Fears in co-production with the Academy for Theatre and Digitality, the Theatre Dortmund and the office medienwerk.nrw (Hartware MedienKunstVerein). Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of NRW and the Kunststiftung NRW.


11:00 – 17:00
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Cheers for Fears
Akademie für Theater und Digitalität