Field devices are the situated and relational expressions of ethnographic modes of inquiry. A field device may have the form of a digital infrastructure, a theatrical performance, an artistic intervention or a drawing technique. Field devices (or fieldwork devices) are designs through which anthropologists and ethnographers devise (or, in xcol language: ‘device’) the conditions to learn and inquiry with others. Very often, field devices are the outcome of the relational invention emerging out of the field situation. A different description of ethnography emerges when invoking the notion of fieldwork devices, one that highlights the composite complexity of our modes of inquiry since ethnography appears as an assemblage of multiple devices (rapport, observation, participation, experimentation…)
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.