CFP: Body, Mask & Space: The State of the Art

from the Digitalclassicist list:


Body, Mask and Space: The State of the Art

An interdisciplinary conference at King’s College London July 9-10, 2009

This conference is being organised by the AHRC-funded project "The
Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space", a research collaboration
between King’s Visualisation Lab at the Centre for Computing in the
Humanities, King’s College London and the Department of Classics and
Ancient History, Durham University. The project concerns ancient
masked performance – specifically in terms of spatial environments,
intercultural performance and perceptual experience.

This conference will examine the work of the project to date (see below),
addressing issues raised by this work from the following perspectives:

Methodologies and Technologies of Mask making

Applications of 3D technologies for art history, archaeology, theatre
and performance studies

Facial recognition and Principle Components Analysis-is a mask a face?

The Mask and Body in Space: Directing and Performing for the Virtual

Theatre Historical Approaches to Masked Performance: Classical and

We invite scholars with interests in the areas of Classics,
Archaeology, Theatre History, Masks, Performance, 3D and Digital
Technologies to submit proposals for papers or presentations relating
to these themes for inclusion in the conference.
Proposals should
consist of an abstract of up to 500 words and a brief biography;
presentations should be no more than 20 minutes long. Please send
proposals or enquiries to the conference organiser: Dr Margaret
Coldiron (mcoldiron AT by 10 June.

The work of the project to date

Using leading-edge 3D technologies the AHRC-funded project "The
Body and Mask in Ancient Theatre Space" addresses fundamental questions
concerning the conditions and actualities of the ancient theatre:

What can be inferred of the actor’s technique and use of mask and body
and how does their semiosis relate to other performance traditions and
to constants of human perception?

How can one productively integrate the study of practice and of the
surviving iconography in this research process, and how can 3D
technologies be brought to bear at their interface?

How does perception of masks compare with that of living human faces,
and how far can methodologies concerning visual perception inform an
understanding of the ancient mask? How is perception of body and
physical movement related to how the mask is "read"?

The work of the project includes the creation of full-sized masks for
performance based upon terracotta miniature artefacts, complemented by
other sources of material evidence, and the use of 3D motion-capture
and Chromakey video to record movements of performers and place them
in virtually-realised ancient theatre spaces. In addition the research
team is collaborating with artists from Asian and European mask
theatre traditions whose insights into the use of masks help to
illuminate expressive aspects of these ancient mask artefacts.

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