Whiteboard brainstorming the acts of gathering conference themes

How can acts of gathering change how we gather?

We invite you to reflect on this gathering as you go.

What do you leave behind?
What do you hold onto?
What do you play forward?

18 thoughts on “Goodbye”

  1. Not only was it the first time that I attended ADSA but it’s the first time ADSA has gone online. The temporary decentring of the physical performance space has made it obvious that advanced technologies such as have a major role to play in shaping alternative pathways to experiencing performance.

    As performance researchers we are always dealing with presence in theatre and the frame. Very often the black box is present, or thus the absence of it reminds us of it.

    The writing workshop by Clare Grant “Shifting registers of performance: Towards ‘situational immediacy’” was exceptional.

    Some say that technologies of every kind are the black boxes where we keep our ancestors locked up. In the workshop we were channelling different ‘voices’ where these may speak. Performing our present moment and in the presence of others was intimate, in fact, for me at least, perhaps more intimate than if we were in the same visceral space. (Apart from the many socio-cultural facts that I may have not been able to even been there in Sydney if the event was not online.) I was able to share my Blackbox with others, I was participating from a room in which I sleep and have worked for the past 9 months. Although attempting to abstract this the complexities of this lived experience trickled into the content I performed. This domestic space became a stage for my workshop peers.

    Such dramaturgical actions offered an insight into, and elaboration of, aesthetic processes and the effect of technical provocations. Thus, I posit that theatre’s relationship to the digital world in comparison to other sectors has more provenance than we give credence to. I am grateful to Jonathan Bollen and ADSA Conference 2020 team not only ‘running with the gauntlet’ but their thoughtful composition made it possible for more of us to comprehend our daily tacit exchange with the keyboard, the theatre of our email can also be acts of gathering

  2. Dear ADSA Committee,

    Thank you very much for the wonderful and informative event. I’ve learned a lot from this gathering that I will treasure and share to my students and colleagues.

    I will leave nothing because every words are important.
    I’m holding onto what I’ve learned from the acts of gathering.
    Looking forward to play again with my colleagues in the field of knowledge and practice.

    “This is the power of gathering: It inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.”
    -Alice Waters

  3. Rrespected Prof. jonathan and UNSW Team
    First of all thank you and your entire team (Anita & Caroline) so much for making me a part of this wonderful conference. Indeed, such a wonderful experience; insightful papers, intellectual deliberations and efficiently hosting, have made it a memorable experience. Though, I’m new to the field of Australian theatre yet I have found the Australian performance tradition inspiring and compelling. I’m really looking forward to working with you people to explore further this great artistic/performance tradition.
    I have been left with beautiful memories. I look at it as the beginning of an intellectual relationship that brings us together for sharing our sense of knowledge.
    Please take care in this critical time of COVID-19 and stay happy.

    Warm Regards

  4. I’m going to remember how well attended and lively the sessions I attended were. I will, as a result, take away – and hold onto – a sense that our shared desire to gather stays strong, even in this online space, so different to our historical mode of gathering. I did wish there was a way to ‘remediate’ some more of the ‘para-performance’ that usually accompanies our conferencing – the conversations that unfold at morning tea, afternoon tea, dinner, and other moments of collegial engagement where our relationships have been built and strengthened over the years. As others have said, though, still rewarding and replenishing to gather together in this way, at this time, in this year.

  5. Dear Jonathan and UNSW colleagues,

    Thank you very much for making it possible for us to gather together for ADSA this year. While I missed being able to share coffees and glasses of wine in person with my colleagues – that convivial collegiality is an important part of the ADSA conference for me – I did also feel very much re-connected to our colleagues across Australia and New Zealand in new ways because our physical distance from one another was foregrounded (except for those lucky New Zealanders in Wellington, of course!). It turned out to be a prescient conference theme. I am sure that organising this conference presented a whole lot of time-consuming challenges for you to solve, and I thank you all for your gracious and calm efforts to ensure that we were all where we were needed to be over the past few days.

    All very best,


  6. I really appreciate all of the hard work that all of the conference organisers put into this. I found them to be helpful and caring. In particular, it was nice to have the personalised chat when I was coming in or out of a session. It would be great to have some sort of function to encourage this. I also really liked being able to put comments and questions into the panels that I observed. This made me feel like I was contributing in a meaningful way. In the future we might even look at different platforms to encourage interaction. In my panel, it was great to only have two speakers as it gave extra time for chat. The crowd was small be engaged.

  7. The ADSA conference 2020 has been a phenomenal event in my life. I am truly encouraged by it. It was incredible to participate and interact on a range of topics from Philippines to New Zealand. I realised the power of theatre and performance arts. Besides, participants’ feedback on my paper truly helped me to improve it for further conference paper. Last but not the least, organisers were incredibly helpful. I returned home after attending last session on Marvellous Now with a note that humanity exists till there are creative people on this planet.

  8. So inspired that ADSA has come such a long way – a website with on-line membership payments, incorporated, on-line voting, accessible ADS journals, an acknowledgement of country at every session, and now a whole on-line conference! Congratulations all who have contributed to these ventures. I hold onto this gathering of knowledge and respect for Theatre and Performance that is ADSA. I hold onto all the efforts to sustain excellent teaching and practice in the face of university challenges that do not always know how to value what we do. I carry forward the hope to see colleagues face-to-face. The shared on-line space is not comparable to being in the physical presence of one another. Thanks all for inspiring papers which have left me much to mull over.

  9. The sessions I managed to attend were great. The advantage with being online was that I had to be in too many other places at the same time as the conference.
    It was a little sad not to be in the same place face to face with people. I missed conversations over coffee and food. But it was still a joy to see people and listen to their ideas.

  10. I found it wonderful to reconnect to colleagues after so much time away from ‘mainstream’ practices–even though I have kept working as a practitioner and teacher for the past 20 years, in a zone the Australia Council categorizes as ‘regional’. My one disappointment was taking part in a session with 5 on a panel and myself the only non-panel participant. Only 1 member of the panel gave me a wave and a ‘hi’ at the end of 90 minutes. I think this raises questions about participation, equity, authority and expertise, and I am very disappointed in this experience, as part of the challenges thrown us in this past year is to rethink such issues. I personally am not so important but I am disappointed in this experience. Who holds the expertise and where does it lie? I am sorry to be so blunt but it’s best to be honest.

  11. Many thanks to the organizers and to everyone who shared their work and listened to mine! I would rather see you all in person but I value the chance to see and hear you in this year of compromises. The word that best describes this conference for me is “generous.”

  12. This ADSA felt particularly poignant to me as the last in which I am PG rep. I hope I have left behind a stronger network of PGs and ECRs and maybe introducing some members who have not previously experienced the generosity and welcome of ADSA. I hold on to the many friendships, productive conversations and the sense of connection that this conference has engendered. Warm congratulations to the convenors on facilitating the mammoth task that has been this gathering.

  13. Even when the curtains have closed on this highly engaging and extraordinarily well organized conference, there will be much food for thought left for all participants. Many thanks for organizing this conference and for also including the launch of our co-edited book!

  14. Thank you everyone, and especially huge thanks to all the conference organisers. It was good to take part in this ‘space of transformation’ without the expense, the time away and the carbon emissions. Sustainability-in-action (and the introvert’s dream). A privilege to hear so many great presentations so easily. (And many more titles on my reading list as a result.) Inspiring, regenerating, reassuring! Play this one forward!

  15. well i hope i left behind some useful discussion, feedback, participation, etc (surely the point of a conference). As ever, these are both social and learning events, so Ive taken away quite a bit of new knowledge and insights (both responses to my paper, and other people’s papers). I am however keen to move forward to face to face again. I think this was a great way to meet under trying circumstances, and while hitech theatre exists, without wanting to sound too PPhelan, but theatre is I believe at its core a rather old fashioned if not almost out of date form. It depends on those copresences of the flesh for much of its strength. Attending papers was great, but not bumping into others in the corridors and over coffee was a shame. I also found online more fatiguing. I can do more facetime than I can screentime and had to miss sessions for breaks. That said, we will be looking at this model for the S-Word’s first online version in March 2021 before we have a face to face conference in Perth around Nov. Pls join us!

  16. Inspired by the spirit of generosity and kindness (and respect for traditional owners of the lands we practise on), fostering a safe space where new ideas, works and perspective were shared by old and new friends. What an amazing experience! Thank you.

  17. I hold onto the sense of longing that has been ignited by these three days to gather in shared space with my colleagues – those I know but are separated from by boundaries and illness, and those I’ve only seen as a name on a black background on Zoom during this conference – and knowing that we will be together soon, to spark and inspire each other in person!

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