Experimentation is a figure invoked in many domains, it is not though so common in anthropology. In the xcol language the contemporary calls for ethnographic experimentation follows the invocation to experiment made in the reflexive turn during the eighties. while this experimentation was focussed on the space of representation (particularly the written form) as the locus for creative reinvention of the ethnographic norm and form, we are now witnessing a shift that identifies the empirical site of fieldwork as the locus for devising modalities of ethnographic experimentation. The experimentation is understood here in dialogue with the literature of history of science and the mode experimentation is practiced in many natural sciences—having in mind that there are diverse ‘styles of experimentation’ (Klein, 2003)—. A key inspiration comes for Hans-Jörg Rheinberger who considers experimentation as a “machine for making the future”, a system for producing questions that experimenters didn’t have.
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.