Activity: Visiting an external institution › Visiting an external academic institution
Guest lecture in course: Researching Arts and Society II: Experimentation.
Ethnography is a term used to denote both a specific form of social research and the text that is produced from the results of this research. Following a long empiricist tradition, the ethnographer seeks to deeply immerse herself in the social world she studies (even if it is her own), attempts to make sense of that world, and produces an interpretive account of her experience that would be of interest to people who are both outsiders and insiders to that world. Using different modes of observation, analysis and representation, the ethnographer must decipher complex social codes and understand the myriad cultural, political, economic and discursive processes that comprise everyday life. How might ethnographic practice be enriched by artistic practice and vice versa? What kinds of texts could be produced from a combination of ethnographic research and artistic experimentalism? This laboratory course gives students the opportunity to develop experimental modes of conducting ethnographic research and producing ethnographic accounts of their field experiences. Students will both engage with theoretical perspectives on experimental ethnography while conducting field-based projects that transcend the traditional boundaries of ethnographic practice, using innovative modes of data gathering, encoding and representation – e.g., photography, digital video, audio recording, exposition, music, prose poetry, visual arts and performance. Classes will consist of reports on these evolving research/art projects, an ongoing exchange of ideas about the research and discussions of selected readings and other materials.