Looking back at the symposium “Dumb Type – The Birth of New Media Dramaturgy”

Symposium "Dumb Type – The Birth of New Media Dramaturgy." © Thomas Martius

Symposium “Dumb Type – The Birth of New Media Dramaturgy.” © Thomas Martius

Organized by our Fellow Peter Eckersall in collaboration with the Research Center, the University of Melbourne and Performance Studies international, the symposium “Dumb Type – The Birth of New Media Dramaturgy” addressed the question of how new media dramaturgies are related to central concerns of interweaving cultures in performance. Outlined as a transformative, destabilizing usage of media and technology on stage, these new dramaturgies, marked by a profound compositional awareness, are engaging with aspects of politics, society, culture, ideas of belonging, of place and time. Starting with a screening of the performance S/N (1994) on the first day, the symposium continued on the following two days with various panels, artist talks, a studio performance and a roundtable discussion, re-examining from different angles the influential and globally significant work of Dumb Type. The group’s performances from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s offer an important historical record of the progression of new media dramaturgies. Participants included former members of Dumb Type, theatre critics from Japan and scholars from Japan, Australia, USA and Europe.

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