Experimental collaboration is an ethnographic mode of collaboration (there are others ‘modes of collaboration’) that entails field interventions through material and spatial arrangements that enable the articulation of inventive ways of working together (these interventions that in the xcol language are called ‘field devices’). Very often, these modes of collaboration are developed in certain para-sitical locations—such as design companies, scientific laboratories, activist/artistic/cultural contexts, and public institutions populated by diverse advocates, technicians and experts—. From this perspective, the field is not just a location for the production of empirical data, or a space for learning, but a site where the construction of problematizations is central both to the anthropologist and their field counterparts now transformed into epistemic partners, companions sharing the endeavour of problematizing the world. Said differently, ‘experimental collaborations’ denote a distinctive mode of devicing fieldwork through ‘joint problem-making’.
Source: Criado, T. S., & Estalella, A. (2018). Introduction: Experimental Collaborations. In A. Estalella & T. S. Criado (Eds.), Experimental Collaborations: Ethnography through Fieldwork Devices (pp. 1–30). New York: Berghahn.