Producing New Media Ethnographies with a Multi-Sited Approach

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Intangible Heritage

Presentation Title:

  • Producing New Media Ethnographies with a Multi-Sited Approach

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • (Long paper)

    Keywords: Multi-sited ethnography; research-creation; inductive approaches; digital cultural heritage; intangible heritage; Aboriginal research.

    Ethnography is an inductive methodology that generates its own object of study through a series of encounters, while laying bare the modes of construction that are used to do so along the way. The result, the ethnographic media text, serves as the canvas for a subjective reflection on culture, but it is also often its own art piece that can take the form of a literary work, an illustrated catalogue, a collection of photographs, a video or an installation. What happens when ethnographic works are made with electronic media or when they are interactive? Does the use of digital research tools disrupt the making of ethnographies or does it trigger the emergence of new possibilities for ethnographers? Are some methodologies better suited to addressing the new ontological conditions of emerging digital-material research tools? By presenting three new media ethnographies that have been produced with a multi-sited design approach, our article suggests that this particular methodology might offer significant advantages when conducting ethnographic research involving new media technology. These examples of practice aim to show how the affordances of electronic art can better support an object of study that is complex in scale, multi-dimensional, shifting, and multiply situated.

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