MOCO’24 – International Conference on Movement and Computing
9th International Conference on Movement and Computing
in collaboration with the SPRING Performing Arts Festival
Call for Papers
Transmission in Motion organizes the 9th International Conference on Movement and Computing (MOCO) from Thursday 28 May – Sunday 2 June 2024, in collaboration with SPRING Performing Arts Festival. Putting the spotlight on the critical potential of exchanges between arts, humanities and sciences, this conference’s theme is highly relevant to topics explored here at Transmission in Motion. We therefore warmly invite our members and followers to submit paper presentations, performances, workshops, artworks and more.
The MOCO’24 conference in Utrecht marks the 10th anniversary of the pioneering MOCO initiative, which has brought together researchers from the arts, humanities and sciences for interdisciplinary encounters at the intersection of movement and computing. How can arts and performance be understood as a place for exploration and inspiration, as a ‘testbed’ for new ideas relating to movement and computing?
MOCO is an interdisciplinary community where artistic and technical contributions are synergistic and equally valued. Thus, we invite submissions that span academic approaches, applied practices, and fields of study, unified by the concepts of movement and computing. We encourage submitters to carefully articulate the relationship of their work to this lens through both scientific and artistic methods of inquiry.
Full Call for Papers can be found on the MOCO 2024 website.
Theme: Beyond Control
In Control: Digitality as Cultural Logic (2015), Seb Franklin has identified control as the cultural logic that underpins our current information economy. Drawing on critical theory, media theory and the history of science, Franklin traces how digitality can be understood as the basis of this episteme of control and explains how this may lead to modes of exclusion and dispossession: “Digitality promises to render the world legible, recordable, and knowable via particular numeric and linguistic constructs. For this rendering of the world to take place, however, there must be processes of capture, definition, optimization, and filtering that necessarily implement a distinction between those aspects of the world that are intended and included within a given digital representation and those that are excluded or filtered out” (Franklin 2015: xix).
In the interdisciplinary research field of movement and computing, the manifestation of the cultural logic of control and its deep engagement with digitality constitutes a central problem. How to prevent computation-based research from inadvertently perpetuating systems of oppression across concerns of class, race, dis/ability and gendered difference (Eubanks 2017; Noble 2018)? The event of generative AI provides another urgent prompt to examine what the implications are of this paradigm of control as a structural force in movement computation research.
Posthuman and new materialist perspectives offer one mode to examine the complex assemblages that constitute our research settings, and what they bring about in the world. Concepts such as ‘vitality of materiality’ (Bennett 2010), ‘posthuman performativity’ (Barad), ‘tentacular practices’ (Haraway 2016), and the proposal to investigate the ‘intra-action’ between human and non-human agents (Barad 2003) have focused the attention on the performative quality of technologies that we use for imagining new forms of corporeal computation.
Another mode of approaching this problem is through research on embodied knowledge. This is a distinctive strength of the MOCO research community. At the heart of this line of approach, there seems to be a paradox at first: In order to make sense of how digital movement operates – be it in VR, motion capture, Human Robot Interaction, or other such applications -, we first need to acquire a better understanding of the phenomenological complexity of embodied movement. Such dedicated engagement with ‘embodied thinking’ (Rajko 2018) may provide the key to ‘make motion data speak’ (Vincs and Barbour 2014; Karreman 2017), whilst also revealing how data are never simply ‘raw’ (Bowker 2005), but are instead ‘always already framed when sought’ (Van Es and Verhoeff 2023: 16).
We invite you to share how your research navigates these and other challenges. What new concepts and methods emerge from making sense of new entanglements between human and non-human agents, either created in your own practice, or as observed in other settings? What could be ways of movement computation that subvert the cultural logic of control, and explore the critical space that lies beyond?
- Submission Deadline Abstracts (all tracks of submission): Tuesday 31 October 2023
- Submission Deadline Full Papers and extended abstracts (ACM publication track only): Thursday 30 November 2023
- Notification of Acceptance: 31 January 2024
- Camera-Ready papers Deadline: Friday 5 April 2024
- Registration Opens: Friday 15 March 2024
- Conference: Thursday 30 May – Sunday 2 June 2024
Barad, Karen. “Posthumanist performativity: Toward an understanding of how matter comes tomatter.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 28, no. 3 (2003): 801-831.
Bennett, Jane. Vibrant matter: A political ecology of things. Duke University Press, 2010.
Bowker, Geoffrey C. 2005. Memory Practices in the Sciences. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Eubanks, Virginia. 2017. Automating Inequality: How High–Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Franklin, Seb. Control: Digitality as cultural logic. MIT Press, 2015.
Haraway, Donna J. Staying with the trouble: Making kin in the Chthulucene. Duke University Press, 2016.
Karreman, Laura. “The Motion Capture Imaginary: Digital renderings of dance knowledge.” PhD diss., Ghent University, 2017.
Noble, Safiya Umoja. 2018. Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism. New York: NYU Press.
Rajko, Jessica. “A Call to Action: Embodied thinking and human-computer interaction design.” In: The Routledge companion to media studies and digital humanities, pp. 195-203. Routledge, 2018.
van Es, Karin, and Nanna Verhoeff (Eds). Situating Data: Inquiries in Algorithmic Culture. Amsterdam University Press, 2023
Vincs, Kim, and Kim Barbour. “Snapshots of complexity: using motion capture and principal component analysis to reconceptualise dance.” Digital Creativity 25, no. 1 (2014): 62-78.