Remembering Simon Fildes

In memory of Simon Fildes I am posting images from Open Source [VideoDance] 2006 and 2007 in Findhorn, Scotland, which was run by Karl Jay-Lewin, Katrina McPherson and Simon Fildes. Simon was a doer, passionate, determined to make things happen and welcoming. He meant a lot to many people, inspired, mentored and tutored and helped forge a screendance community in Scotland and internationally.

There is a lot more that Simon wanted do, but he leaves behind a large body of work that will continue to circulate and speak of his concepts and ideas, his keen eye for editing, his love of nature, his interest in story and that which moves us.

Rest in Peace.

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Call for Papers for Volume 13, due out in 2022

Volume 12 of the International Journal of Screendance is about to be published and meanwhile we are inviting two types of submission for the next issue, Volume 13:

  • Papers that respond to the theme, Choreographing the Archive, as proposed by guest editors Marisa C. Hayes and Luisa Lazzaro (further details below)
  • Papers presented as an open submission, on any topic of relevance in the context of an international, artist-led journal exploring the field of screendance, edited by Kyra Norman

Introduction

The International Journal of Screendance is an international, artist-led journal exploring the field of Screendance.  It is the first-ever scholarly journal wholly dedicated to this growing area of worldwide interdisciplinary practice.  Since our first publication in 2010, an annual volume has brought together emerging and established voices in the field – and from a range of areas with which this hybrid form intersects – to stimulate ongoing debate and discourse.  https://screendancejournal.org

Some previous volumes have been themed around a particular artist, topic or proposition, for example the work of Maya Deren; notions of communities in screendance practice; or the impact of Covid19 on our field, in our forthcoming volume This Is Where We Dance Now: Covid-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen.  Other volumes have resulted from open calls for submissions: the range of contributions indicating something of the questions being asked of and through screendance in that moment.  For Volume 13 we will combine these approaches, and in 2022 our publication will provide space for articles responding to an open call, alongside articles addressing the theme Choreographing the Archive.

Choreographing the Archive: Interfaces Between Screendance & Archival Film Practices

Archival footage represents a broad scope of moving images, including amateur films & family archives, educational films, advertisements, newsreels, documentary and feature films. Whether randomly happening upon “found footage” or actively researching film collections, screendance artists have created a growing number of films that incorporate the use of archival footage. David Hinton and Siobhan Davies’ collaboration All This Can Happen has become exemplary of how archival footage can be reimagined and composed as choreographic material for the screen, following Hinton’s collaborations with Rosemary Lee (Snow, 2003) and Yolande Snaith (Birds, 2000). Miranda Pennell has been instrumental in applying and developing a performative approach to archive (The Host 2016, Gestures of Love and Violence 2013, Why Colonnel Bunny was killed 2010) that also expands ideas of choreography and performance with still images and archival footage. In the visual arts and film an extensive body of archive-based project has emerged throughout the 20th century with the appropriation of existing visual material, and the rise of appropriation art in the 1980s.

Archival footage presents an opportunity to highlight temporal shifts between past and present. The original context may be eschewed entirely in favor of creating a fictional framework. For many, the process of identifying choreographic material within archival images resonates strongly with recent studies in media archaeology. Using this approach, lost, forgotten, and found material is analysed through its resurgence, historical context and communicative style. This process leads to observations and questions about the ethical, aesthetic, curatorial and ontological implications entwined within archive footage. For this journal issue, the hybrid nature of screendance may allow for new explorations in relation to archival footage to emerge and the issue aims to provide an opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and curators to present new ideas about the archive in screendance. How do works of screendance that use archival/found footage challenge definitions of dance, compositional methods, and the way we envision movement on screen? Areas of interest for this call include but are not limited to:

  • Expanded choreography practices through identification and editing of found/archival footage
  • Media archaeology and screendance
  • Relationships of ontology, authenticity, and reinvention in archival footage
  • Interface between concepts of found footage and found choreography
  • Ethics of working with found & archival footage in screendance
  • Approaches to curating found and archival footage at screendance events
  • Family and Autoethnography
  • Shifting historicities and temporalities
  • Interface between old technologies and new technologies
  • Performative approaches to archival footage and/or archive photographs

Please note, as volume 7 of The International Journal of Screendance is dedicated to David Hinton and Siobhan Davies film All This Can Happen,the guest editors will favor submissions that discuss other films and artists working with archival images in screendance. References to All This Can Happen are fine but should not be the sole focus of submission proposals.

Schedule for themed submissions:

  • Preferred but not required: Expression of interest and short proposal sent to marisa@videodansebourgogne.com & luisa.studiosei@gmail.com  with the subject line “Choreographing the Archive: Interfaces Between Screendance & Archival Film Practices”  1 July 2021
  • Preliminary submission deadline on journal platform: 1 October 2021
  • Publication date: May/ June 2022

For enquiries relating to themed submissions, please email the IJSD guest editors Marisa C. Hayes and Luisa Lazzaro: marisa@videodansebourgogne.com & luisa.studiosei@gmail.com

Schedule for open submissions:

  • Preferred but not required: expression of interest and short proposal sent to kyra.norman@gmail.com with the subject line “IJSD Open Call“: 1 July 2021
  • Preliminary submission deadline on journal platform: 1 October 2021
  • Publication date: May/June 2022

For enquiries regarding open submissions please email the IJSD editor Kyra Norman at kyra.norman@gmail.com

Further information about the International Journal of Screendance submission process

  • Scholarly articles (3500–6000 words) are peer-reviewed in a fully anonymous process. All other contributions will be reviewed by the editorial board. We are also interested in publishing Interviews (2000–3000 words), Reviews of books, films, or events (750–1000 words) and Provocations and Viewpoints (750–1000 words). For the purposes of review, please indicate which of the above categories best characterizes your contribution.
  • If you are interested in submitting a contribution that does not fall into the above categories, please contact the editor for additional direction.
  • Authors must register with IJSD at https://screendancejournal.org/ in order to upload submissions. All submissions should be uploaded by authors in .docx or .rtf format.
  • Please use the IJSD style guide – https://screendancejournal.org/about/submissions#authorGuidelines – to correctly format your document.
  • Example article (to help with formatting and style guide questions): https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v5i0.4423
  • Publications in all sections are indexed, but only scholarly articles are peer-reviewed. Please see IJSD’s Editorial Policies for more information.
  • IJSD is published via the Open Journal System.
  • IJSD is published in English and uses American spelling and punctuation.
  • IJSD is published as PDF and HTML files and is fully open access. We serve the screendance field as a whole; therefore, there are no fees for submission, processing, publication, or access to IJSD.
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Recommendation: a different Screendance

by artists/filmmakers who are living and working in India today, and artists of Indian heritage based internationally. 

Artists and film programme (showing 19 – 27 March: watch here)

Loss & Transience 2 brings together films that are linked by their protagonists’ state of transience at key moments within the films. They provide numerous insights into how day-to-day realities are being catalysed to affect change, but also to reflect on present political and environmental concerns. Collectively the films are examples of rendering new worlds through improvisation which cannot exist ‘in the real world’; an approach that is re-constructive and playful; allowing for adaptation to the challenges of the environment whilst critically questioning our role within it.

The programme is curated by VisionMix‘s curators, Lucía Imaz King and Rashmi Sawhney, and presented in collaboration with videoclub Brighton UK.

Loss & Transience 2 coincides with an exhibition at Hong-gah Museum in Taipei.

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What issues or questions would you like IJSD take up?

On Saturday 20 March 2021 the founding members of what was the AHRC Screendance Network and which expanded to become the Editorial Board of the IJSD invited Ohio State University symposium participants to discuss the future direction of the journal. After ten years of steering the journal this seemed to be a good moment for a review and for a wider consultation with our stakeholders. In preparation for the discussion, participants posted useful questions and suggestions on the symposium jam board, included below.

If you have any other suggestions or comments, please feel free to reply here or email the members of the Editorial Board.

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THIS IS WHERE WE DANCE NOW: COVID-19 AND THE NEW AND NEXT IN DANCE ONSCREEN – Part 2

Friday and Saturday 19/20th March if you are in the US (or Sat 21March if you are in the UK/ Australia) there are two more Paper Panels, one Roundtable of Screendance Festivals and online audiences, and to conclude Tea with the International Journal of Screendance Editorial Board.

Below an extract from Vilma Tihilä’s panel presentation from last weekend, Roundtable: After quarantine: The future of screendance;

What is behind the words? What is before the words? What is it, that one can only know by feeling it, or experiencing it? What is it which can not be explained with words? What is the vocabulary for a language with no words?

These are a few of the questions I often return in my work. For me the potential, the excitement and the challenge in dance film making is to find the ideas, the techniques, and the combinations which deal with these questions in practice. And the key approach for me in this practice is poetics.

Dance film in its physical, visual and aural languages has a poetic approach, and through that it offers radical, self-reflective, fluid and innovative strategies to address questions in meaning making, communication and storytelling. And this is the power of screendance. Through the poetic strategies screendance can challenge thinking and doing in the fields of cinema, dance, media arts, visual arts and so on.

A poetics in dance film for me, links with feminist issues, intersectional perspectives and fluid mechanics of passing dichotomies, categories and roles assigned. Asking not only what but more importantly how.

Vilma Tihilä (b. 1991) is a Finnish film director specializing in dance film. Tihilä holds a Master of Arts in Screendance from London Contemporary Dance School and a degree in contemporary dance from Turku Conservatory. She has also studied physical cinema at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. Tihilä’s films have been screened at various festivals internationally including Loikka Dance Film Festival in Finland, Quinzena de Dança de Almada in Portugal, F-O-R-M Festival in Canada, and Video-poetry Festival in Argentina, among others.

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This Is Where We Dance Now: Covid-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen

This Is Where We Dance Now: Covid-19 and the New and Next in Dance Onscreen is a symposium happening over two weekends—March 12-13 and March 19-20, convened by Harmony Bench and Alexandra Harlig at Ohio State University, US. The symposium will have focused roundtables on TikTok, screendance festivals, and the future of the field, as well as paper presentations and lightning talks. We’ll also have an opportunity for attendees to talk with the editorial board for The International Journal of Screendance and share thoughts and ideas about future directions.

Please see the full schedule and presenter bios at https://u.osu.edu/thisiswherewedancenow/symposium-schedule/

The symposium is free, but everyone must register at https://osu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwvcuuhqD4vGNSHPPn2Np_c2d9nwJ3jEoCO. This will generate an email with a link and password to join; there is one Zoom link for the entire symposium.

We will continue to update the website with more information. We will also be on social media with the hashtag #WhereWeDanceNow.

We’re really looking forward to this event, and hope you are too. Please share.

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IJSD, Volume 11

Cover image: detail from Anarchitextures by Ariadne Mikou

From the Editorial: This issue marks the 10th anniversary of the International Journal of Screendance. Our first journal appeared in the Spring of 2010 and was entitled “Screendance has not yet been invented.” It both looked at historical precedents and contested limited definitions of ‘screens’ or ‘dance’, opening a space for the discussion of past, present and future thoughts that might shape this field of practice. The title of our second issue, “Scaffolding the Medium” gave a clear sense of purpose as a publication, to create, or make visible, structures that support screendance practice. Each issue since has defined its own parameters and established its own identity: alongside the desire to scaffold, lives the desire to shake things up. (…)

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Editorial: Expanded Screendance
– Kyra Norman, Marisa Zanotti
ARTICLES
Screendance Narratives from around the Mediterranean Sea
– Ariadne Mikou
Witness: a response to Marlene Millar’s Witness
– Anna Macdonald
Reflections on Regards Hybrides, an International Forum (2019, Second Edition)
– Douglas Rosenberg
Evolving the field: Interviews with Naomi Macalalad Bragin and Cara Hagan
– Douglas Rosenberg
Walking in the light: reflections on screendance in a time of pandemic
– Katrina McPherson
Animating the Real: Illusions, Musicality and the Live Dancing Body
– Jo Read
Navigating Hyperrealities: Tamil Film (Kollywood) Choreography as Screen Dance
– Sandhiya Kalyanasundaram
BOOK, FILM, AND EVENT REVIEWS
Review: Perpetual Motion: Dance, Digital Cultures, and the Common by Harmony Bench (2020)
– Jaleea Price

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Cultural Compensation Won’t Sustain Anti-racism

I would like to share this podcast from a series called Convergence, an “ongoing series of critical conversations, screenings and written commissions, facilitated by the South London Gallery (SLG) and curated and hosted by invited guests.”

In Convergence: Cultural Compensation Won’t Sustain Anti-racism, Dr Clive James Nwonka, London School of Economics Fellow in Film Studies, Lanre Bakare, arts and culture correspondent at the Guardian, broadcaster journalist and filmmaker Bidisha, and Dr Francesca Sobande from Cardiff University, talk about how the arts and art institutions can go beyond tokenism to ensure longterm, structural change.

I found it very useful to hear the reflections on the current cultural and institutional responses to BLM in the UK. The speakers also propose, what needs to be done to get beyond words and beyond single interventions.

This is highly relevant for the International Journal of Screendance, as a large part – although not all! – of the published discourse has so far been white, written from white perspectives. We need structural change in order to bring on board more diverse voices, and the situation is doubly difficult in that much of this discourse is developed and sustained by people who have salaries from universities in the Anglosphere, thereby drawing on a predominantly white community of post holders who can just about afford the time and who can also benefit from this labour in terms of their academic careers.

If the journal has been a useful catalyst in the first ten years of its life, it now needs structural change in order to continue to push and pull, challenge and provoke. For more on this look out for the editorial and the 11th Volume of the IJSD, edited by Kyra Norman and Marisa Zanotti, just hot of the press!

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Humanos en sociedad (Loïe, Edicion 06)

The Buenos Aires based screendance magazine Loïe has recently published it’s 6th issue, with a variety of reflective journalistic articles and an editorial by Susana Temperley and Magdalena Casanova, in which they ponder on the impact of the pandemic on dance. As the editorial is published in Spanish I copy a few lines and paraphrase, as I very much like the sentiment of Susana and Magdalena’s words.

They begin by stating that this issue could have been blank and that the virus could have silenced us. Instead, our bodies – which are not only our way of being in the world but also our tool and means to work – double a sense of urgency. They continue “Pero, así como, a pesar de todo, el cuerpo y la danza encontraron caminos para seguir moviendo, callarnos no era una opción -no hubiera podido ser- y debimos, nosotros también, encontrar maneras de decir ese movimiento.”

The editorial team writes that despite everything, the bodies and the dance have found ways to continue moving, and that going quiet was not an option. Later they refer to the Danses Macabres, the Medieval Dance of Death, which speaks so much of our vulnerability but also asserts the body as the basis of our terrestrial existence and reminds us that dance rituals identify us as social beings, as humans that are part of a society.

“[…] las Danses Macabres aparecen como emblema de la centralidad del cuerpo, único soporte de nuestra existencia terrenal. ¿Por qué la danza? La danza, como parte constitutiva del ritual, es un instrumento que nos identifica como humanos en sociedad.”

Humanos en socieded; In the UK there have been many references recently to Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 statement, that “There is no such thing as society“. While Thatcher said this at the time to argue against the tendency to blame society for all of children’s problems, instead of people taking responsibility themselves, the categorical nature of the statement shocked many and the sentence continues to circulate and resonate today. David Cameron tried to make amends and change direction in 2010, when he launched the ‘Big Society’, but few were convinced of his new version of society, which looked mainly like a a cover up for public spending cuts.

While Covid-19 appeared to temporarily show a different side of what a conservative government could be, the most recent row over the refusal to cover school meals for the poorest of the poorest kids suggests that that was a blip by a government, that was perhaps caught of guard and out of its depth when the pandemic hit Britain. The current row over school meals has been compared to Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, a revealing portrait of London’s poverty in the 1830s and the systemic degradation, exclusion and confinement of the poor by the political leadership. By contrast, the systemic pampering of the wealthy continues to this day, see for example the subsidies for and provision of free meals for the members of parliament, who earn between 77K and 150K! [see petition to end subsidies]

In the UK many will have taken part in the pandemic’s weekly ritual of clapping the NHS and care workers, until it transpired that they get paid a pittance for their exhausting work and that care workers sometimes have no access to sickness benefits, meaning that they have to go to work even when they fall ill (read: when they have possibly contracted Covid-19….). Covid-19 is a disease of poverty. In Start of the Week (BBC Radio 4, 25/10/200) John Micklethwait, economist and author of The Wake Up Call (2020) says that “In the American tax code, there is $1.6 trillion exemptions and virtually all of which goes to the well off.” Might there be a similar situation in the UK, and many other Western democracies? Under the veneer of a modern – compassionate? – conservative State with its super wealthy political elite there appears to be brutality and a disregard or disdain for what society could be that is relatively unchallenged, and that has possibly not changed much since the 1830s.

I am coming back to Susana and Magdalena’s words, that the dance is an “instrumento que nos identifica como humanos en sociedad”; it looks like there is still a lot of dancing to be done.

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