INTENSIONS ISSUE 7: Fun and Games – Playing to the Limit
Submission deadline: December 10, 2012.
In this issue, we invite scholarly/artistic contributions that engage the relations between play, power, and social reproduction. We welcome theoretical explorations, as well as reflections, experiments, reports or ethnographies on play and playfulness in its lived, historical and cultural contexts.
To play is human.
However, play is a social act of often unclear boundaries. The delineation of playing as a special conditional form of doing or acting in the world relies upon registers of seriousness, authenticity, consequence and import; yet these registers are ultimately ambiguous.
Play can materialize and relativize banal affective and social relations. Play can imagine, insist on the possibility of, or suppress, difference. Play may provoke shock or distraction, conceal or reveal intention. Play may be encouraged or denied, rewarded or punished, feared, disdained, become addictive or even prove fatal.
What becomes possible as a result of play in specific contexts? What socio-cultural relations are inscribed in the various sites of play? Are there limits to the social power of play, or limits to the social contexts in which playful acts may be asserted? Or is the very delineation of some actions as play itself a limit on imagination and transformation? To what extent do the connotative associations of theatre, sport or childhood constitute a limit on what is considered play? What is the role of play in science, industry, politics or war? What associations can be traced between play and inductive, exploratory or experimental knowledge generation?
Developmental theories situate play in the process of accommodating to reality, whereby the child first assimilates difficult and incongruous aspects of reality by revisiting them with familiar schema. For Baudrillard, the reproduction of the ‘real’ risks eclipsing its truth-value. These positions inscribe a vast territory populated by varying admixtures of representation and awe. Deborg wonders if play is necessarily reactionary if it is absorbed into the normative and normalizing practices of (re)production and consumption. When are play and playfulness critical distractions to organized protest? Alternatively, Deleuze considers how simulation and virtual worlds unleash important re-imaginings and re-mappings of the social. What are the unique potentialities of play when engaged as formative, preliminary, inconsequential, non-serious, speculative or exploratory?
Papers (4000-6000 words), artist works, reviews and interviews can be submitted by December 10, 2012 to:
Dr. David Harris Smith, Guest Editor, McMaster University(email@example.com)
Dr. Elysée Nouvet, Guest Editor McMaster (firstname.lastname@example.org)
InTensions is an interdisciplinary peer reviewed e-journal published out of Fine Arts at York University. This initiative brings together interventions by scholars and artists whose work deals with the theatricality of power, corporealities of structural violence, and sensory regimes.
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