Call For Participation

What to propose, where and when...

Digital Matters: Designing/Performing Agency for the Anthropocene

Download CFP

The Anthropocene has highlighted a fundamental fracture in contemporary culture between what we know and how we act. In the public sphere, this has been summed up by a sense of apathy in the face of growing complexity. In scholarship the Anthropocene has been tied up with the experience of the unthinkable – whether by Timothy Morton, Donna Haraway, or Amitav Ghosh. Yet, the current COVID-19 pandemic—arguably an example of human impact on and a reshaping of environments—challenges the pervasiveness of this key concept of abstraction. Instead, the pandemic has turned the Anthropocene into a concrete, intensely-lived, globally-shared experience. In doing so, the pandemic asks us to reflect on and, more importantly, experiment with the borders between material and digital spheres and the shifting experiences they currently render.

The 25th Digital Research in Humanities and Arts conference invites contributions and interventions that focus on such transfers and interactions between digital and natural environments. Digital Matters takes on the challenge to explore new material and multi-species agencies, forms of embodiment, and interactions between the performing arts, the humanities and the natural sciences that engage the sense of relationality and expanded scale that the Anthropocene affords. We welcome contributions that create a sustained encounter between designers, hackers, performers, artists, activists, and scholars to examine how these emerging ways of communicating and creating proximity and solidarity across distance can shape new responses to conceptualising life in and beyond the Anthropocene. We would like to generate new perspectives on any of these three interrelated spheres:


What do we make of the various encounters between digital and embodied materialities across the cultural, creative, and scientific spectrum?


How do we make perceivable the invisible dimension of environments in our cultural practices?


How do we create new forms of agency to match the altered realities of the Anthropocene?

Transdisciplinary Encounters

DHRA 2021 offers a creative platform for transdisciplinary exchanges in a variety of formats: it will be part academic conference, part a curated programme of digital performances, workshops, and installations that seeks to break new ground in how artists, digital makers and researchers can share knowledge and practice with each other.


Digital Matters invites proposals for participatory workshops, panels, individual papers and performance lectures/provocations, as well as digital experiences and dialogues/conversations from creators, users, and researchers across the spectrum of the Digital Arts and Humanities and the Creative Industries, addressing the following questions/topics:
  • Performing the Anthropocene across the arts
  • Sonic environments and the politics of listening
  • Creating digital narratives of scale: micro & macro-levels in space and time
  • Configuring the non-human across cultural practice
  • Negotiating scarcity and waste with digital media
  • VR, AR and AI in/as performance
  • Designing nature in the digital/virtual sphere
  • Digitality in protest/activism
  • Indigenous knowledge and digital media
  • Visualizing scientific data in artistic practice
  • Exploring Object-Oriented Ontology 
  • Possible futures and/or post-pandemic transformations of cultural/artistic practice

Information on Proposal Submission

Please submit a 300-word abstract together with a short bio (ca. 75 words) and indicate the preferred format (digital or F2F) for your paper or presentation (15min), digital media provocation (up to 15min), workshop (30/60min), or alternate creative interventions (15min) on the theme of the 2021 DRHA conference. All proposals will be reviewed and selected by a peer-review process. Deadline for submissions: April 30th, 2021.

Important Dates

  • Call for proposals: January 15, 2021- April 30, 2021
  • Notification on proposals outcome: June 15, 2021
  • Draft programme released: August 1, 2021
  • Registration: June 15 – August 1, 2021
  • Conference starts: 5 September 2021
  • Conference ends: 8 September 2021