In response to the issue of artists doing ethnography , I summarise here three issues of relevance that result from my reading of Cinzia and Lili stimulating posts:
As stated by Cinzia, “artists’ methods do not often include ‘collecting data’ as such. My practice in particular is not focused onto observing a subject, but on acting as one and interacting with other subjects.”
A relevant point, however practice based art research, is frequently developed from evidence – the art work as a collection of evidence (of a research question, an exploration, etc), and often the academic discourse surrounding it builds up on such empirical mode, thus the need to understand ethnographic methodologies;
As Lili writes, “Concerning my practice, theory and knowledge actually emerge from my own investigation. First I move rather intuitively, I follow an ‘image’ that leads me to another stage, and so forth, until I find myself in a place where I can see more clearly.”
It is fine to mix and match the methodologies that are relevant to your practice, as grounded theory and actor-network-theory assert, thus the interest of these two approaches to art-based research practice. For me the interest in stating your methodology in reference to these approaches is that you assert your position, a major tenet in critical reflection as it situates you in the academic discourse;
In the wide spectrum of participant-observation –from no immersion to total immersion if the subject of study, autoethnography s a very interesting option if you intend to account for your presence in the field of research. It is now widely used in qualitative studies pertaining to new media studies, particularly involving the area of sociable media.
As an introduction to this week’s session I would like to recommend we focus on the readings pertaining to our practice.
For Cinzia, I would suggest the works you mention in your comment:
C Hansen, C Needham and B Nichols Pornography, Ethnography and the Discourses of Power, in B Nichols Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary, 1992, Indiana University Press
For Lili, I would concentrate on the area we outlined in our last meeting, on the virtual: image, culture :
Please, outline the main concepts that ressonate with your project and present them in class for debate. Thank you! paula