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AJIRN 5 - 2022 Conference

Space is the Place:
Real and Virtual

May 6 - 8, 2022
Register for the conference by following this Eventbrite link

Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Click HERE for Program



The 2022 AJIRN conference theme ‘Space is the place’ invites participants to think about where improvisation occurs, where it might occur, how it interacts with its spaces and places, the movements and migratory patterns of improvising artists, what role locality in any of its forms plays in improvisation studies, and more. Many forces today—not least the increasing awareness that international travel on a large scale is ecologically unsustainable—conspire to drive us to rethink ‘the local’ as the primary place of our collaborative practices. Might this lead to a culture shift in which local agency replaces the traditional hegemonic centers of creative practice? Conversely, the COVID-19 pandemic has stimulated many novel modes of creative collaboration via technologically-afforded ‘virtual’ spaces. So while ‘the local’ is being reclaimed as the foundational collaborative locus, it is simultaneously taking on new registers, since even disparate spaces and places can be conjoined to form new virtual localities. Here Sun Ra’s insistence that ‘space is the place’ takes on dynamic new valences, from local place to cyberspace.


We welcome proposals for individual papers, performances, panel discussions, and hybrid formats that engage this theme. Assuming travel is possible in 2022, we are planning for a hybrid conference with robust on-the-ground activities but also opportunities for remote participation.


Proposals that fit one of the following sub-themes are especially encouraged:


Local scenes

-     DIY culture

-     local improvisational practices

-     trans-local migrations

-     diasporas 

-     networks and nodes


Virtual places

-     technological affordances for interactive improvisation

-     the local and the global

-     improvisation in the metaverse


Site-specific practices

-     ecological and environmental spaces

-     digital and hybrid ‘sites’

-     new creative environments and future possibilities


Space and time

-     improvisation in Afro- and indigenous-futurist temporalities

-     improvisation’s places in history

-     musical space-times


‘a place in this space’

-     Marginalised/minoritised musicians’ space in a community of practice

-     Creating improvisatory safe spaces

-     Inclusion and wellbeing 




Given the tenuous nature of the contemporary COVID-stricken world, we feel it is important to stay nimble in terms of the precise format of the conference. The current plan is for a hybrid format, with “on the ground” activities in Brisbane as well as the option for remote participation, but as world events continue to evolve we will assess the travel situation and plan accordingly. The hybrid format will hold for both traditional paper presentations and creative contributions. More detailed information will be available soon at


Submission Process


We are accepting research proposals for the following formats:

  • 20-minute research presentations (10-minute Q&A)

  • 20-minute lecture-recitals (10-minute Q&A)

  • Curated special sessions...

  • Panel discussions (format can be flexible, in consultation with the Program Committee)

  • Other hybrid activities, including site-specific performances and happenings


Please submit (1) a proposal title, (2) 250-word paper abstract or performance proposal, and (3) a 50-word bio, all compiled as a single Word doc using the subject line ‘AJIRN 2022 Proposal’. In the body of your email, please indicate what kind of proposal you are submitting, the theme or sub-theme your proposal most clearly aligns with, and whether you expect to attend in person or virtually.

(For all performances, please send a tech sheet and stage plan) 

We are also pleased to announce that Nicole Mitchell and Sandy Evans will be this year’s keynote presenters.


You can now register for the conference by following this Eventbrite link. In the spirit of inclusion, we are offering a tiered registration payment system: $120AUD for salaried university staff through April 15 ($150 thereafter), $80 for sessional staff and unaffiliated researchers and artists through April 15 ($100 thereafter), and $60 for HDR candidates and anyone participating remotely. Undergraduate students are encouraged to attend for free.

Conference organising committee:

Chris Stover (Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University) - Chair

Robert Burke (Monash University) - President

Christopher Coady (Sydney Conservatorium)

Roger Dean (Western Sydney University)

Louise Denson (Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University)

Bruce Johnson (University of Turku; University of Technology Sydney)

Stephen Newcomb (Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University)

Miranda Park (Monash University)

Hannah Reardon-Smith (Macquarrie University)

Vanessa Tomlinson (Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University)

Aleisha Ward (University of Auckland)

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