I Graduate Conference on Science and Technology of the Arts

December 9-10th 2021 · Porto, Portugal


Extended Call for Papers

Deadline for submissions: July 15th 2021

Acceptance notification: 31st July 2021


Keynotes and Artist talk

  • Doug Bailey

  • Marc Leman

  • Sasha Litvintseva & Beny Wagner


Our relationship with the body and the material world has been transforming following processes of digitalization that were in motion before COVID-19 but, as consequence, were potentially accelerated. It is urgent to foster research on what is the place for physicality and (i)materiality in our time. In this context, the 1st Graduate Conference on Science and Technology of the Arts will focus on the intertwinement of notions of motion and emotion through interdisciplinary approaches from and towards the arts and/or heritage. Please see below detailed descriptions of these fields.

Contributions from the fields of Artistic Practices (Cinema, New Media Art, Digital Art, Music and Sound in particular), Artistic Studies and Cultural Studies, Heritage Studies and Conservation and Restoration are welcome, in multiple formats: papers, performances, artworks and installations, posters, audio-visual and digital essays. 

This conference aims to explore and discuss works covering the following themes/topics:

1.   [e]motion

It is through our bodies that we understand ourselves, others, the lived world (Merleau-Ponty, 2002). Significant relationships established between body and environment underpin perceptual and affective experiences from which individual concepts, prepositions, and discourses, grow. Physical impressions are blended with cognitive processes as we think, understand, feel through our living (moving!) bodies, as claimed by embodied cognition theories (Varela et al., 2016; Leman, 2016).

In this domain we aim to focus on the role bodily movement assumes as expressive/emotion inducer and mediator of physical and virtual experiences, evoking the concept of motion as a link between past, present, and future, which unfolds in space and time upon the succession of previous positions, and is common to all living forms. Research and artworks centred in motion, emotion, technology, as well as their intertwinements are encouraged, in line with the following topics:

  • Body poetics 

  • Expression in movement

  • Embodiment

  • Place and memory

  • Gesture and sound

  • Motion and emotion

  • Motion and imagery 

  • Presentiality and virtuality

  • Participatory approaches in heritage making

  • Sensory augmentation of artistic practices

  • Technological mediation and interfaces

  • Virtual archaeology and conservation

2.   commotion

The acceleration of the processes of digitalization, in its present condition, leads to a social acceleration that is responsible for the compression of the present (Rosa, 2013), towards a state of constant and non-stop production (Crary, 2018). The contemporary overexposure to information and images causes innumerous cognitive and emotional transformations (Stalder, 2018), following the project of an economic system based around the production of isolation (Debord, 1967). 

With the increase of screen time, propelled by addictive content and algorithms that foster the visibility of emotional and controversial content, our consciousnesses (and our data) become the main asset of the attention economy. Therefore, our ability to develop and engage with communitarian and collective structures and relationships is reduced. At the same time, following Stiegler (2018) proposal of the technological pharmakon, technology might provide the tools and perspectives to critically transform its negative impact into a critical practice of education and resistance. Theoretical proposals and artworks that critically analyse the digital commotion and/or propose forms to expand the forms of contemporary experience, e.g. according to the following topics:

  • Affect theory and philosophical perspectives on mind-body problem

  • Emotional and cognitive effects of the digital

  • High-speed society and acceleration of information flows 

  • Collecting now

  • Digital heritage

  • Individualism and posthumanism

  • Liquidity and transparency

  • Multimodality

  • Shrinking alternative futures 

  • Critique of the apparatus(es)

  • The digital pharmakon

3.   onward motion

The disturbances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on multiple sectors of activity worldwide, including arts and culture. Either by exposing underlying fragilities or by questioning established practices, the pandemic forced museums and other cultural institutions to reconsider audience and public engagement, both online and offline (Grupo de Projeto Museus no Futuro, 2020). Faced with a bleak scenario regarding the recovery of international tourism – a force that has been placed at the heart of growth strategies in its association to cultural heritage (Waterton, Watson, Silverman, 2017) – the focus was shifted to national and local publics. Even so, the acceleration of processes of digitalization, potentialized by the pandemics, resulted in the accentuation of socioeconomic inequalities, behind issues of technology and internet accessibility, affecting cultural and civic participation. Nevertheless, the online pandemic enabled the discussion of emergent topics, at a global level, such as climate change, gender and racial inequality, and (post)colonialism, revealing inherent tensions between cultural localisation and delocalisation processes. Moving forward pandemic times, how can cultural institutions support equality and representation from/within increasingly glocal communities (Robertson, 1995; Gikandi, 2001)? What can be the role of artists and a growingly number of different heritage practitioners (Clark, 2019) to promote participation, inside and outside physical spaces? How can (cultural) heritage contribute to social and economic resilience through the promotion of sustainable practices (Culture 2030 Goal Campaign, 2019)?

We encourage discussion through the submission of essays, papers, case-studies, practice-based research and/or artworks related to the following topics:

  • Artistic creation and cultural participation in (post)pandemic times

  • Conservation and holistic perspective in the 21st century

  • Community engagement and heritage education through the arts

  • Curatorial activism and empowerment through the arts

  • Artistic creation as heritage making

  • Artivism, politics and ecology

  • Equality and representation in cultural 

  • Heritage justice

  • Topography of the possible

Guidelines for submissions

  • Formats for submission include papers, performances, artworks/installations, posters, audio-visual and digital essays;

  • All presentations should be 20-minute duration (in the case of audio-visual and digital essays, performances and other artistic presentations, authors are free to manage time to include an introduction of the work before its presentation);

  • All abstracts must be submitted and presented in English or Portuguese;

  • Proposals should be comprised of an abstract (about 300 words, max. 5 bibliographical references), biographical note (about 100 words), 4-6 keywords and contact and affiliation information of the author(s);

  • In the case of performances, artworks/installations, audio-visual and digital essays, a max. 400-word document should be provided presenting the logistic requirements for the presentation (e.g. space, materials, equipment). (NOTE: The organization only provides means for presenting audio-visual and digital essays in conference rooms);

  • Authors of practice-based and artistic proposals should be able to assemble their works and provide all technological material for his/her performance, artwork or installation;

  • Proposals should be sent through the online form available in the website;

  • Questions may be addressed to graduateconf.arts@porto.ucp.pt.

Evaluation of the proposals will follow a double-blinded peer-review process. Practice-based and artistic proposals will be object of analysis considering logistic requirements in order to guarantee their fulfilment.