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An Ethnographic Inventory

How to ‘device’ an ethnographic infrastructure

The method of telegrammatic correspondence: A digital mode of inquiry for times of lockdown

Infraestructuras etnográficas

Xpositions in this typology

Call for Inventions 1.0: Field Devices

In our first Call for Inventions (CfI) we are particularly aiming to inventory accounts of ‘field devices’: the inventive social and material arrangements undertaken, created, made or repurposed in the course of doing fieldwork with others. What we have in mind are texts of at least 2000 words accounting for these field devices in at least two senses: (1) fleshing out the context as well as the social and material arrangements of particular ‘field devices’ as they are put into practice in empirical situations; and (2) hinting at the particular modes of ethnographic inquiry they enable or make emerge.

Convocatoria para contribuir con invenciones 1.0: dispositivos de campo

Solicitamos textos de unas 2.000 palabras que den cuenta de dispositivos de campo que incluyan dos aspectos: (1) que contextualicen y describan las condiciones sociales y materiales de estos 'dispositivos de campo' en las situaciones empíricas en las que se han puesto en práctica; y (2) que expliciten los modos particulares de indagación etnográfica que esos dispositivos permiten desarrollar. Estamos especialmente abiertos a textos que experimenten con géneros híbridos, entre el formato de recetas (o manuales de instrucciones) y los relatos etnográficos de carácter descriptivo.

Writing inventions: A how to guide to approach the description of ‘field devices’

The different inventions we aim to inventory in xcol call for particular writing genres beyond established ones. This form of writing can be a complicated task. In this text we have put together our first 'how to' guide to the different genres we aim to inventory: 'field devices.' We believe these are peculiar writing pieces. Here we share a suggestion on how to approach their writing and a proposal with the structure of sections.

Sensorialidad (y más): más allá del texto

La antropología ha consagrado la escritura como práctica paradigmática para la expresión de su conocimiento, pero el texto no es suficiente para dar cuenta de la complejidad del mundo. En tiempos recientes se desarrolla un amplio esfuerzo por experimentar con otros lenguajes y formatos para el conocimiento antropológico, así ocurre con la antropología sensorial y experimentos que se inspiran en los dominios del arte y las culturas digitales.

Colaboraciones antropológicas en la contemporaneidad

La colaboración es invocada en tiempos recientes como una figura relacional necesaria para el estudio de nuestro mundo. Las llamadas a la colaboración en antropología no son nuevas, pero sí resultan novedosas las articulaciones específicas en nuestra contemporaneidad, como los ejercicios de colaboración experimental a través de los cuales antropólogos y sus contrapartes construyen problematizaciones conjuntas.

Ethnographic experimentation: Other tales of the field

Ethnographic experimentation refers to an ethnographic modality where anthropologists venture into the collaborative production of venues for knowledge creation that turn the field into a site for the construction of joint anthropological problematizations. Invoking the trope of ethnographic experimentation we aim at describing how anthropologists creatively venture into the production of venues of knowledge creation through processes of material and social interventions that turn the field into a site for epistemic collaboration: a site for the construction of joint anthropological problematizations.

Dispositivos de campo

Proponemos concebir la etnografía como un ensamblaje de dispositivos de campo: técnicas relacionales, dispositivos de registro… el concepto de dispositivo pretende llamar la atención sobre la espacialidad y materialidad específicas que demandan las situaciones etnográficas. Los dispositivos de campo son arreglos singulares que hacen posible el encuentro etnográfico, surgen de la inventiva relacional del campo y nos hablan de los mundos sociales investigados al mismo tiempo que dan cuenta del esfuerzo inventivo de las antropólogas por investigarlos.

Note-taking: A ‘fieldwork device’ duplex

A re-description of my two-fold engagement as ethnographer-cum-documenter in the activist design collective En torno a la silla. Highlighting the importance of note-taking as a ‘fieldwork device’ for the problematizing and relating in the field.

‘Devicing’ fieldwork

We would like to intimate a mode of collaboration that is neither a constitutive condition of fieldwork nor a deliberate strategy informed by political and ethical commitments: Collaboration as an epistemic figure that describes how anthropologists creatively venture into the production of venues of knowledge creation in partnership with their counterparts in the field. In these situations, the ethnographic method is re-equipped with new infrastructures, spaces of knowledge production, relationship forms and modes of representation.

The ethnographic invention

Ethnography is an act of invention. Anthropological inquiries always demand to invent how to inquire and how to relate to others, this is the central argument upon which xcol-Inventory has been built. But if invention has always been integral to the empirical practice of ethnography, the imperative to care for our knowledge practices should also involve to care for the inventiveness of our modes of inquiry.

El dibujo etnográfico. Delinear modos de indagación

El dibujo siempre ha formado parte del oficio antropológico pero le ha ocurrido lo mismo que a la fotografía, ha sido una actividad marginada. La investigación antropológica reciente integra el dibujo al menos de tres formas distintas: (1) como formato de representación, (2) como técnica de registro y (3) como un modo de indagación antropológico.

Inqueries associated to this typology

Call for Inventions

We aim to inventory accounts of ‘field devices’: the inventive social and material arrangements undertaken, created, made or repurposed in the course of doing fieldwork with others. What we have in mind are texts accounting for these field devices in at least two senses: (1) fleshing out the context as well as the social and material arrangements put into practice in empirical situations; and (2) hinting at the particular modes of ethnographic inquiry they enable or make emerge. Here you can check the full content of the call, as well as examples and guidelines to prepare your proposal.

Ethnographic experimentation

How would an experimental fieldwork exercise look like? The ethnographic experimentation proposed here is a form of engagement that entails field interventions through material and spatial arrangements that enable the articulation of inventive ways of working together. A distinctive ethnographic modality for the production of anthropological knowledge, one that bear witness to an emerging sensibility that takes shape in those field encounters in which anthropologists devise the conditions to problematize the world with their counterparts.

Antropologías multimodales

La antropología multimodal propone un programa a través del cual la disciplina se abre a la invención de formas de expresión y representación, de relación y producción de conocimiento a través de múltiples modos relacionales y representacionales que van más allá de lo textual. A través de ellos, los antropólogos y antropólogas exploran otros modos de indagación, se abren a nuevos lenguajes y formatos para expresar su conocimiento y son capaces de interpelar a públicos amplios y diversos.

Playing with method

How could games redevelop our repertoires of ethnographic representation and intervention? What vocabularies and considerations might allow us to unfold their full potential as relevant ethnographic or peri-ethnographic genres?