Nuanced and Interrelated Mediations and Exigencies (NIME): Addressing the Prevailing Political and Epistemological Crises
Lauren Hayes and Adnan Marquez-Borbon (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California) will present a long paper at the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. NIME 2020 will be held as a virtual conference, hosted by the University of Birmingham, UK.
Nearly two decades since its inception as a workshop as part of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), NIME exists as an established international conference significantly distinct from its precursor. While this origin story is often noted, the implications of NIME's history as emerging from a field predominantly dealing with human-computer interaction (HCI) have rarely been discussed. In this paper, we highlight many of the recent–and some not so recent–challenges that have been brought upon the NIME community as it attempts to maintain and expand its identity as a site for multidisciplinary research into HCI, interface design, and electronic and computer music. We discuss the relationship between the market demands of the neoliberal university–which have underpinned academia's drive for innovation–and the quantification and economisation of research performance which have facilitated certain disciplinary and social frictions to emerge within NIME-related research and practice. Drawing on work that engages with feminist theory and cultural studies, we suggest that critical reflection and moreover mediation will be necessary in order to address burgeoning concerns which have been raised within the NIME discourse in relation to methodological approaches, `diversity and inclusion', `accessibility', and the fostering of rigorous interdisciplinary research.