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CO.LABORATIONS | Partnerships in Media and Culture


Call for Proposals: Performing Robots Conference

Performing Robots Conference: Dialogues Between Theatre and Robotics
23-25 May 2019, Utrecht (the Netherlands)
Organized by Transmission in Motion (Utrecht University) and SPRING Performing Arts Festival

Call for Proposals

Robots are increasingly present, both in our daily life and on stage. Theatre makers explore the possibilities of these new technological performers and investigate the opportunities and implications of a future of living with them. Also in daily life, the presence and behavior of robots raises questions that concern their dramaturgy and design: how do social robots address their human co-performers and afford interaction with them? What scripts do they follow? How to design and choreograph their appearance and movements? How do their actions invite responses and exclude others? How do they draw and sustain attention? How do they invite us to attribute character and meaning? What role do affect and persuasiveness play for a successful interaction?

This conference takes stock of interactions between theatre and robotics so far and looks at possibilities for future collaboration. The conference will include performances by and/or dialogues with theatre makers Kris Verdonck, Rimini Protokoll, Dries Verhoeven, Angela Goh and others. We are welcoming proposals for papers, demonstrations and other kinds of presentations. Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • The use of knowledge and expertise (theories, analytical tools, practical expertise) from the theatre for understanding and designing robot behavior and HRI.
  • Practices of making theatre as inspiration for creative approaches to the process of developing robot behavior and HRI.
  • The use of the theatre, and by extension theatrical contexts like festivals, as a site for experimentation with the behavior of robots, for trying out and testing ways of communicating with them, as well as for exploring scenarios for interacting and living with robots.
  • Creative explorations of robotics by theatre and dance makers.


Proposals for papers should be 250 words in length, in addition to the following information: name of presenter(s), email address, short bio (maximum 50 words). Send proposals to TIM@uu.nl, indicating “paper proposal” in the subject line. For other formats, please contact the organizers (TIM@uu.nl) with a short description of what this presentation would entail and what would be required, as well as a short (50 words) bio.


Important dates:

Deadline for submissions: 7 March 2019

Notification of acceptance: 20 March 2019

Dates of the conference: 23-25 May 2019


For more information and the full Call for Proposals, you can visit the conference website.