2017 AM: Immersion, Agency and Cultural Imaginaries:
All right so I suppose, we can start. We. Have, first. Thank you for coming we have a what's. Meant to be an informal roundtable, so at some point we should all kind of, gather. Together in some more cozy, sense, and talk together. The. Idea of this panel, is to have an open discussion around, the nature of documentary. Representation. Tools. And, how, they are integrated, in and transforming. Practices. Of visual research. Changing. Ideas about collaboration. Building. Up in a way new imaginaries. In which we fulfill. The potential of, research. Questions and pursue. Perhaps. New. New. Forms. Of collaborative. Creation, I think. This panel is also unique in bringing together. Practicing. Artists, who all have, research. Backgrounds. And find. Have. Found that they've had to extend far beyond, traditional. Representational. Paradigms, and methods, to do something original, and, get. To where they need to go because each form we work with of course, changes. How the questions. Get told how they get imagined, and how they unfold, and I think all the projects today will. Express that, we've. Designed, this in a very simple. Fashion where we'll have short, presentations. And. Then. Each of the panelists, has Raz. A question. For, the panel as a whole and for, everyone here and. So. I think coming out of these short presentations, will, all be provoked, to, pursue. A conversation. Together and that's the point of today's session. I'm. Actually. Going. To go late. In the session so I'll. Come back around to. My. Presentation later I think. We're starting with Robert, perhaps. And. That's. That's. It and people will be introducing themselves as they go and. Then. We'll have a, conversation, of, all. Of us together for, the majority, of the time. So. Can. Everyone hear me. Good. Yeah. Okay. It's. Great to be here in Washington we'll, be able to take part in this roundtable. And to discuss our, work my, work. So. I, would. Like to start talking about what I haven't been doing in. There in the intersection between. Ethnography. Or Swedish. Ethnology. Which, is quite, similar to anthropology. And, art. Practice. So. I. Try. To work with. Something. I call a compositional. Craft of art probing, so. Art problem what is that. For. Me those are these are instruments of education, and, part. Of an open-ended. Process. Of art and research, that. Art probes can have a double function first. They can instill inspiration, and be possible points of departure for research and, second, they can be used to communicate scientific. Concepts. And arguments, beyond the scope of academic, words. So. The idea is to keep, our, practice. And my, academic, practices. Sort, of semi detached, and, as. Part of more. Open. And more. Than academic. Exploration. Of, concepts. Things, so where one research, project, can, fear into our practice and, our practice, take place in our spaces and in other, projects. And those might feed back into research projects, and. I. Would like to talk about one. Such. Project called. Possible, worlds that. I did. As in the beginning as a commissioned, work for, the museum of ethnography in. Stockholm. So. You seen it. Was about exploring. Museum, imaginaries. And how museums. Are part in some kind of world making and how people, imagine other worlds, or world, out of the museum. So. A little. Bit inspired by, Vincent. Crappin so no I was trying. To look at sort, of, imaginary. Says imperfect. Capacities. Imaginary. As, open, under in in, the indeterminate. And never complete, they. Are mutable and they. Mediate between the ungraspable, and the mundane. So. Drawn a little bit on his ideas about imaginative. Horizons. And. His. Liberation's, on imaginative, horizons, and about. Imaginaries. So. According, to him imaginaries, can be seen as frontiers as elusive boundaries. That never can be transgressed or reached. So. Imaginaries. Make a change in ontological. Register. They, postulated beyond, that, is by its very nature unreachable, in fact and, representation.
What. Lies beyond the horizon has, a certain, power, so. Crepin son of stresses its possibilities. The licit, and illicit desire, it. Triggers, the. Place of power it suggests that the dreaded can cost uncertainty. The sense of contingency, of Charles, exultation the, thrill of the unknown it can provoke so, my works been a lot about sort of dealing, with the unknown or the uncertain. And. Possible. Worlds was a way to. Use. The. Museum. As a starting, point to discuss these things and, I. Approached. Imaginaries, as elusive ephemeral. And biggest, and imperfect, capacities. That happen so, they have been crucial to the way I've been working with artificial revelations. And compositions, so. Possible worlds are based on recordings. From early ethnographic, expeditions. Taking. From the collections. At the Museum that. Were in meshed with contemporary, material from entirely different contexts, this materials, has been mixed with, computer-generated. Electronic. Sound, scapes erasing. The border between technological. Expressions. And sound, and video capture at concrete locations. Mundane. Everything's, juxtaposed, with undefined landscapes, and actions as well, as. The. Known place sounds from processors, and tone generators, this material has been mixed and performed, during a 30-minute live performance, of, layered. Sound and video so. This is what I call a sort, of Moreh composition. On craft with a composition, and what takes place in that room is more important, than a sort of documentary or, or. The. Representational. And this was used as a point of departure for discussion, we'll be seeing this. Was screened and people. Could then. Former. On in a roundtable to discuss. Well, making what, is a museum and, what. Experience. Is this and. Small. Performance. Could evoke. So. It's based on multiple layers of sound video I'm gonna have before, we start, discussion I couldn't show the small trailer for this work that. Gives some impression, of how it how. It could. Look and, sound. Okay. So, this took part in. 2000. 2015. And I've been, done. On a number of iterations of that this work after that and the point is to start with, this this, is a kind of journey, where I don't, know exactly what's going to take me in. The future what kind of projects, it might lead to so, it's still an ongoing. Exploration. Of, these things, and I. Would like to end with a question for the panel it's all you, in here and. So. What does what's, what are the ends and what. Are the ends of the documentary, and. When. Do at nog refers or anthropologists. Become world, makers. Thank. You. I'm. Jesse Jackson from University. Of California Irvine and. If, Robert, is a. Person. Who'd attaches, his art in academic practice I'm a fully detached artist. And. Not an anthropologist by, training so, I'm hoping, that can be that will be controversial, and in part. However. I in. An essential, or essential part of my art practice is to. Work with other, disciplines it's, going to built into my my, artist statement anthropology. Being one of them and ethnography, and, I'm basically, going to talk to you about everything I've worked on for the past ten years in five minutes. It turns out and, and, I've. Sorta borrowed from our title and flipped it in in, the sense that all of the work I'm but show you has a documentary. Component. In, some cases the work itself is documenting, something in. Other cases there's a kind, of documentary, part that is required to enact the work so. I've got three projects, to talk to you about quickly. The first of which is I take photographs of towers, a specific. Building in the City of Toronto where I went, to grad school, and. In. Some ways is as simple as that I am. One of many people who document, objects, in the landscape and this is just an example of the work. Some. Context, some Toronto, specific context, for you Toronto. Is a city that is this, is a pervasive building, type in City of Toronto distributed. In the landscape this kind of abstraction shows, you, individual. Tower apartments, and there's some I'll give you some numbers there's 2,000. Of them and they, are about a third of the housing in the city of Toronto Toronto's the I guess the third or fourth largest city in North America so it's a kind.
Of Substantial, substantial number, of people that live in tower. Apartments now this isn't uncommon in North America of course in. Most North American cities have a kind. Of modern period tower. Apartment building. One. Of the things that makes Toronto unique is that these are not typically, housing. Projects it's not publicly funded work in, about 1969. The. Largest, number of buildings ever made and in Canada was was, built this is the number of housing starts in 1969, and this is all private construction, so this is the kind of just the unique characteristics, of this building type and. I, operate. As a conventional artist they document these this. Building type and I show it in galleries and that's. Probably, not so, interesting, in this you. Know in this venue I did, want to show you some examples of the work. And. Some of the variety, of how these buildings, relate, to their surroundings I mean one of my interests. Here, is the relationship, between these buildings, in their moment in time and the things that have been built up around them this is a kind of perfect. Example, of that condition. And, of course some of them are decrepit. These are 50-year old buildings in need of. Of. Kind of repair at this juncture in their history the. OJS. Time-taking. Building taking towers of pictures of buildings is not entirely, novel what's, what's. Kind of interest, here what I'd like to bring to the table is the, fact that I am, implicated. In a group of professionals. And this is not a document, a pure documented, project I do not stand alone. Kind, of observing this condition I am, very conscious of my participation. In, in a kind of group of professionals, interested in these buildings and perhaps. Mmm. It, is is often, difficult to, navigate this terrain um. The. Other thing that's of interest to this group technologically. As we talk about documentary, media itself is these, are not pure photographs, there's a kind of selective, vision. Here, I spend, quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I want to so what situation, I want to set up what, relationships, I want to set up and of course this boy, doesn't happen at the same time as the tower image similarly. These deer don't. Happen at the same time as. You. Know there's there's multiple. Options and this is a product of you know the digitization, of photography, and the, opportunity, to do this sort of thing, and. Second. Project I want to talk about. Actually. I I have quite. Badly done this I'm gonna skip this project. Unless. We have time to come back to it because I want to get to the project that's. That's. A kind of the, project I'd like to bring to the table which is a project in the Canadian Arctic. Which. We have a kind of imaginary about and. And whether, we're from Canada or not you imagine this landscape, but, in this particular image if you step back 100, yards you, can take this image as well you. Know one of the central problems of the medium is of course the selective nature of the framing of a photograph this is a town, of Hay River the. Town of Hay River is a kind of regular town that's, for. All intents and purposes it happens to be in a very. Northern, Indian hospital II inhospitable landscape. And one of the things that was done to make it hospitable, in the, same period as those earlier buildings as we built one tower not, a city of towers but a single Tower and. This tower is the field site of an anthropologist, that I collaborate with named Lindsey Bell who. Spent two years living with living in and around the tower and. Documenting. The stories of lives lived within it my. Interest because, I come from this documentary, tradition of looking at the building itself is is to kind of look at the structure and. So we work in collaboration at on, that plane and. Where. This project has arrived is, is this building is so kind of omnipresent, in this landscape this is an image from the building looking out at the landscape just to give you a sense this is a desolate. Place for sure, the. The. The notion after spending a few years in the field trying, to figure out ways to represent the relationship, the people in this town have with the building every single person who lives in this town can, talk about the building most people have lived in it at one point or another we, decided to use it as an armature on which to locate, technology, and to, take a kind of documentary, of the landscape, and that document it will ultimately be a an.
Immersive Installation, where you'll get inside, the. Space that the building occupy or the bill you'll get inside the space the building can see and, I just want to finish by, showing. You a preview. Of, that. So. What we're watching here is footage from the, cameras mounted on this, is about a 20-story building, one. Of the unique opportunities, here is it's the only 20, story structure within a thousand kilometers I mean. There's the there's, a whole backstory to why this building was made it, was never it was made for a mine that was never built. Artistically. I'm interested in the fact that this shadow of course were far enough north that on June 21st, on the summer solstice that shadow will draw, a perfect circle around the, building as the Sun rotates through the entire sky. And. The, mock-up itself the kind of immersive space. Will. Look like this. So. In some level would i'm just taking and. This is a collaboration with another artist and with with, lindsay. Fairly. Conventional at this point time-lapse photography and. Turning. It into, an. Immersive opportunity. Viewers. In this or visitors, to the space will be able to engage with different footage. So you know different speeds different juxtapositions. Some. Of that technology is yet to be determined which. Leads me to my questions, which. I can ask while we're finishing the footage. So. One one of the challenges, that I've experienced is one of the risks present working with emerging technologies is that we, end up solving technical, problems I mean certainly 90%, of my time is spent dealing with the problems I've created for myself by. Trying to install in this case camera. Is on the roof of a building in the Arctic that, are supposed to run for 12 months and, so, my question is can we embrace this is this risk a productive constraint, or does it drive us towards, kind of reductive results and I I feel like I've had experiences, that point in both directions and, my. Second question, specific. To the, McKenzie place project is ultimately. I'm creating a database of, images it's, an image every minute for 12 months in four directions I mean, those are the limits of the database and, one. Of the kind, of to, me this presents, a challenge to more, conventional ethnography. And certainly Lindsey's work where, in some respects the the lived experience of any individual, in the building is lost so. Does the database despite our best intentions otherwise, suggest, a kind of completeness that, eliminates. The need for other sources of information I mean of course we all value other sources of information but, in using a database how do we reconcile, that challenge, do, the the, tennessee's in here in the database work against, the projects of documentary, and ethnography. Thank. You. Sorry. Kate divorce didn't happen. Thank. You so, my. Name is Kate Hennessy I, am, at Simon Fraser University at, the school of interactive Arts and Technology and, thanks. Everyone for coming. Together I am I've, been looking forward to this panel and it's, great to hear about these projects because I'm I'm, learning new things and, I feel like. Jessie, I didn't, know that you're going to present on that project and I think it's very beautiful so I'm looking forward to talking about it Roberts, new work as well. And. I also want to say Julie I'm really glad that you're here to help us navigate the, discussion. And round. Table so that's. When we're gonna ask you all to come forward and talk with us I'm. Gonna present today. On a project, that I've, just finished in the last year with a very large group. Of people, from, British, Columbia it's called scowl it's a Coast Salish stole local Salish community in the Fraser River Valley I was, a co-producer. And designer on the project and a media, lead but, as I just described, in a festival, film, festival session the, list of contributors to this project is about eight. And a half feet tall if we, print it out it's very long and. I want to especially, acknowledge, members. Of the scallops First Nation.
Chief. Andy, Phillips and. Clarence. Pin yer Dave, chef B Natasha Lyons, Mike, Blake and all, of the participants, who, made this project come to life so it's essentially, an online exhibit, that, was produced by the scallops First Nation and the Stoll resource, and research, and Resource Management Center funded. By the virtual Museum of Canada and. Collaboratively. Produced, between, 2013. And 2017 by a truly. Intergenerational. Group. Of community members archeologists. Media producers. Exhibition designers, and museum anthropologists. And I encourage you to go to the URL it's digital scale it's dot CA to check, it out you can look on your phone etc. So. In, this very brief amount of time I'm just going to give a very quick overview of the project but, my goal what. I'd like to carry into this discussion, is how. Collaborative, practices. In in, this case in community-based archaeology. Influenced. Our approach to interactive, design, also, I want, to point to how the. Role of collaboratively. Produced digital collections, networks, are shaping. Museum, practices, and enabling, teams, like us to make projects like this and then finally I'll start with my question instead of adding, ending. With it I'm, going to ask how are these socio-technical. Strategies. Dependent. On the creation of relationships. Fundamentally. And how are those relationships. Enacted, in the making of these works we. Asked, in the the roundtable abstract how technologies. May reconfigure. Relationships, between networks, communities, researchers, and students and through. This project I want, to ask how. Are these relationships. Between the networks communities. Researchers, and students actually potentially. Reconfigure, reconfiguring. The technologies, that we're using so. This project started actually. Back in 1992, when, the, scallops leadership, initiated. Archeological. Research. In their territory, on a site called Keith eel they. Initiated, annual. Field, schools where students from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University came. Together to excavate, and as they did this they. Worked. Together using. Traditional, protocols. For, spiritual. And cultural safety, to excavate, a cereal. Mound in. Order to. Show. Definitively. That this was a burial site for, scallops. People in the past and in the course of this work protocols. For doing this work properly, in a good way were, established. With, skeleton, archaeologists, and participation, from community members in, the course of that work, thousands. Of artifacts, which we refer to in this project as belongings. Were. Excavated. And deposited. In institutional. University, repositories. And with the stolen ation as well including. Things like these beautiful salmon, vertebra. So, fast-forward. To. 2012. When. The leadership, with, the stolen ation, and the, stole a research and Resource Management Center determined, that'll be great to try to tell this story. And what. I want to get across here is that the the collaborative work that happened in the past directly. Informed, the way this multimedia, project, could be developed, and we went, through. A lot of meetings and discussion, through. Process of identifying, cultural. And linguistic principles that, would guide the website development, things. Like speaking. To youth. Identifying. How come ALM terms like show um and squelk, well different, ways of different sort, of categories, of stories, oral. Histories, and. This. Idea of putting everything together everything that had been fragmented, into different, repositories different. Places different, research, projects, could, somehow come together to help tell this story a big, part of that was, going to different institutions, digitizing. Cataloging, bringing together archaeological. Resources through the reciprocal. Research network which is a project, held. At the Museum, of Anthropology at, UBC, but, co-developed, by First Nations the. Stolen ation Musqueam. Indian ban in mr. cultural society to create a culturally, appropriate portal. For accessing, international. Northwest, coast museum collections, all. Of that came. To, sort. Of a realization through, this project Scarlett's, Coast, Salish community in the Fraser River Valley which, uses, how Camille um cultural.
Principles To, tell the story of this community and of the development, of, collaborative. Community-based. Arkla, archaeology, practice, so. Just, a very quick. Trip. Through the site which I hope you'll explore. On your own shwoo, Ham these are the stories origin, stories stories, of. Geographic. Features being transformed. From real, people, or animals into. Physical, form. Using. GIS. To. Show place names and information about it squelk. Well which is the sort. Of true news or oral histories which includes information like archaeology. Settler knowledge and so on and a, section called are voices which includes, about. Twenty, short documentaries. That tells the story of this, history, of collaboration, but also about. The community today, it. Includes videos, that detail things, like fieldwork, protocols, that were developed in the course of collaborative work and how, that, influenced. Our own process, of development, and it. Shows, a selection of belongings, as. I, say archaeologists. Call these artifacts, but, these are the the things that our ancestors, made and used, through. Their, collaborative, curation, process in the reciprocal research Network something. We also did. In the course of this participatory. Project, Thanks is to. Pilot. The use of these little black icons, you see called traditional. Knowledge labels, these. Were developed by Kim Christian and Jane Anderson in. A project called local context, and this aims, to, draw, attention to a specific form. Of, knowledge. Being shared here in this case when. We're talking about human remains that were excavated, from the burial site nothing, is shown but information. Is shared that these exists, as a way of stating the, importance, of. The. The traditional, territory. This. Is label. Is called haha which shows, that there's, additional additional, knowledge, about a certain subject that cannot be shared on the website and we, have other labels, as well like outreach for example that indicate, very specifically, that the purpose of this project is to share information. There's. Also a glossary, of language, resources so that this can be used as a particular. Teaching. Tool fundamentally. In the community but also outside, so. I'm going to get to my question about. This project that it raises. This. Virtual, project has. Since. It was launched, become. A series of physical, museum, exhibits, here, at the Chilliwack Museum, and Archives and. Also. At the reach gallery, museum so instead of having objects. Illustrated. By media we have a very deep media. Resource. That then. Facilitates. And kind, of inspires, more. Specific, physical exhibitions. So this. Is my question, which I'll read to you if the creation of new media for museums is to take culture seriously, following, an Balsamo, in design and methods of production how might museum media buy shaped, by or actively.
Reshape, The discourses, and related practices that maintain them as crystal. Fraser and Zoe Todd point out the structures and policies that govern the organization. Of and access to colonial museums and archives have, amplified, Eurocentric, perspectives, that continue to support policies of dispossession, and violence given. This context, can new digital collections, networks and emerging, documentary, technologies, used. By memory institutions, like cetera. Move beyond, neo-colonial. Collaboration, towards transformative. Instances, of reconciliation. So. This. Is. Something, that. We, hope with this project but. Also, something. I've talked about in the past probably. Some people in the room are familiar with chris Kelty's work to bits he a book about free software. He. Talks about. Recursive. Publics these are essentially, publics. That are formed through the use of technologies. Who have a stake in the, technology, that creates the terms of their association so. Geeks. For example he writes about they create the tools with which they can interact and that creates. The public that they're a part of I'm, also, asking if, indeed, these collections, networks like the reciprocal, research network are creating. New tech new public's, recursive, public's within the museum and heritage space that, enable, First Nations their collaborators, to actually create and transform, the, terms of their Association I would say the reciprocal, research network and the emergent, digital, projects, like this one are doing, that work they're also speaking. Back to the institutions, that hold the collections. And, changing, the way in the physical space the museum is able to show. And represent this work, thank. You. Alright. Thanks again everyone. So. We've heard from Kate. And Robert, and Jesse and I neglected, to mention at the beginning that Flavia. Kvl, Caviezel. Could, not make it. Which. Is disappointment, to all of us due. To a medical emergency. And. I'm, just going to give a brief discussion, of a few, of, a project I'm working on before that I want to mention we've just started at Temple a new, ph.d, program in. Visual. Research and documentary, arts I have some flyers if anyone, wants some later it's. A quite, a particular program, that is designed only for students, who have already completed an MFA and then. Turn, to, research the. Idea of help I always have students. Who come, to a professional, level of, creative. Competence. And creative imagination, and find, themselves pursuing, research questions, that demand a more serious set, of scholarly tools as well and, so. We developed this program specifically. To, bring those kinds, of students back into research and give them an opportunity to, work beyond, creative. Practices, or, to work with BA, students, who would come in who would be wanting to pursue, MA. And PhD. Approaches. To questions, bridging, theory and practice as two, threads, that bounce off each other. So. Today's. Talk I'm going to just briefly introduce a couple projects, and try, and touching the themes that we've all been talking about those, particularly. Of collaboration, through. Different, media forms, the. Imagination. Involved. That. Technology, offers, opens, up paths, to, create projects, in different ways I've. Always been interested in how landscapes, are imagined. And in. The, 90s. I was working on the sense of space in projects in Africa on. And. How people talked about place imagine. Them and how those images of those places were being transformed, by, outside. Media, representations. And, in. 2007. I did on the territories, project following, different exploration. Routes in the American Southwest. This. Has taken a slightly more local. Turn for me with the issues, of climate change, and I'll. Begin this brief talk by taking, us to England I grew up on South, East England near. Dover, and at least underneath the White Cliffs of Dover in a little town called Kings, down, and. It's. A growing. Up you. Thinking. Back on the memories of growing up I remember vase strongly, the sounds. The sounds of the Shale rolling. Under the tie it's the sounds of the creaking oaks in the fog the sounds of the flares, from the boat crashes, that, would be frequent, of this, rough coast and also.
The Smells the smells of the wild fennel and plants that grew on the marshlands. I, went, back in. 2014. 15 16 to walk the shore of Kent I walk the entire shore from Dungeness, around to the, Thames flood, barrier. And. Duncan, as you might know for its, being. The site of Derek Jarman's film the garden a site, of two, nuclear power plants, a site of many ship, crashes, it's, an an old Marsh Marsh, area code Romney Marsh that for a long time was. Mostly. Lagoon and, when. One follows the Roman, shorelines, one sees quite a different landscape where. There. Are now, hills were Islands and filled, in farmlands. Was ocean, and, in a way thinking, about the rising waters, big one begins to return to these old. Landscapes. Perhaps. A past coming back to the present walking. Along, the Thames one, passes by the shale, and the marshlands, around Gravesend, where, the British Army expected, to be fighting to the end the mud against the Germans. Sinking. In this land, that is now threatened. Not only by rising waters, but by disturbed, pollutions, of the industrial revolution because, of course the thames was. One of the early. Birth. Points, of the industrial revolutions, and the mindset, that goes along with it and. In, a way that's why i went to. Learn to explore, a little bit further not only the impacts of climate change on, our, land and the impacts of. Climate. Change on, memory, on a. Personal. Point of. The. Finding, a personal connection to how we talk about climate change, but. To set that as a means of having a discussion, about the Anthropocene, and about, the mindset of the Industrial Revolution that. Has so transformed. Our landscapes, I came to these issues because I currently, live in Philadelphia, the. Delaware River like the Thames was, another of the early. Launching. Points of the Industrial Revolution, know. Know what. Just happened and. Ike. I act the coast of Kent of coasts of the Delaware estuary, down it's. 90. Miles from Trenton, down to Cape May a land. Filled. With, brownfields. Industrial, wrecks. The. Shells and Industrial Age and a land that is in a way transformed. By toxic, muds and a. An. Industrial, mindset, that leaves. The, spectacles. Of ghosts the graveyards. Of its destruction, and just builds new sights next to them it's currently still a site of active, very active, petrochemical. Industries for. The now. For shale and for. Fracking, industries. And. I started to look at what what strategies, could I use to. Explore. This. The. First was to go out and photo, and shoot, images of what I saw. Recording. A landscape. And in. Panoramic. Form for installations. And. This. Landscape, was. One, that's been. In. A one-handed landscape, of a tremendous, marsh lands another landscape. Of. Heavily. Industrialized, brownfields. And I was asking what would happen when all of this stuff mixed together. So. The next stage was to start doing some map, I began. With, a, chemical. Map. Taking. Students out walking, the shorelines, of the estuary and looking at what is there. Then. Started researching, each of these sites, staying. Within a flood zone of, 14 feet from water line and, visiting. Industries. Looking, up their records, online, and seeing what would be in the soup as, floods. Mixed, the, muds. Of the, estuary. Washing. Them over the cities and towns like. Philadelphia Wilmington, Camden. And, over. The, delicate. Marshlands. That are being. Encroached, by, the rising, waters. The. Next stage was how to talk about this how to bring science down to a way one could relate to a language that is personal, a language of memory a language, of that is human. And. To, do that I took, my cues from some of those 19th. Century exploration, logs I'd worked with before to. Think instead about. How. In a way an ironic, turn of that mindset, of the industrial, era. 19th. Century. Exploration. Narrative, had. A kind of exuberance and we live in the sort, of legacy. Of that exuberance, so I started creating these logs, my. Own logs of exploration. Of the Delaware that, record, what I see, and. Describe. Both the, wonders. Of the landscape, and the. Tremendous. Challenges. That are posed as we, confront. How to envision, this landscape, in our contemporary time as. We. Develop this process I developed this project the, next stage has been to now bring in outside, users to develop the collaborative, edge to, have people begin to talk about memory their, memories, of the place and how, to seize, climate. Change as perhaps. An opportunity to, rewrite.
What, These landscapes, could be and to reimagine and to redesign them the. Next stage then has is which is we're currently involved, in all these models, model, of a new landscape, that could follow the. Follow. From people's experiences. Building, an archive of sea, level rise and change, and then. Envisioning. A landscape, that might be, transformed. From this chemical. Experience. The chemical, landscape in which we live. So. I'd. Now like to turn to. My, questions. For the panel. And. The. Two questions are both, come, out in part from this approach, of. My. Own, research projects, and. Setting. Up this these programs, in, visual. Research and documentary, arts at Temple. One. One, is that. I've. Always thought of, research. Problems. Questions, as, a site not, a story. It. Is a site from which stories, come but also other it's a site where one does all the kinds of meaning making a site, that contains a census in memory the structure and in. A way this is where art and research, play. A tremendous. Collaborative. Role. Because, it's about how we expand, the site beyond, just, the, facts and details so. Therefore I think the panel here has come together in a way to explore. These paradigms. Of problem. Solving, problem, solving that, include, both those of. Scholarly. Inquiry and facts and data but trying go. Beyond, that to also give context. Context. Of the pasts and the futures and contexts of our sensory, experience, of place. The. Other question, is pedagogical. And institutional. It's in. Developing. Visual, studies programs, at the Art Institute of, Chicago and then at Temple, I've always felt and still feel that, we have a lot to go in moving, from an interdisciplinary, dialogue. To, a interdisciplinary. Kind of learning a kind of collaborative. Practice. Between, the fields, at the level of education, at the a level of creation. Together and, in a way I hope, we can engage a question, questions, about how, we go about. Imagining. Our processes, of invention, together through, collaborations. And through the bringing together of scholars, and artists, and, to. Bridge with that different, there are different research practices, I've worked a lot in science, labs and I'm always shocked, and with.
Wonder Great, wonder and a delight. At the collaborative. Science approaches, and how those intersect with art. And. Where. They put the, individual, and the dividual, the collective. Imagination. And, I'm, want. To hear really from everyone's, experiences, on this on how we can further expand, the kind of collective thinking, and creativity. How, are these strategies. Dependent, on, certain. Building certain kind of relationships, how do we enact those relationships, how do we create agency. With. That now I'd like to turn it over to Julie who's going to lead. The discussion she has some I think her own, questions, and, points. Of view too to sum up some, of the works, we've looked at. If. You don't mind I'm just gonna sit here but, one of the other things we want to invite those, of you who are here is to move. Closer and join the conversation it's, not quite a round. Situation. We have a, round table, but. I and, first of all I wanted to thank Kate. And Roderick for putting together such, a fantastic. Set. Of, really. Mind-blowing, projects, for me to think about as a neophyte, who's, tiptoeing. Into this world about thinking about new media it, was really inspiring for me to engage with these projects, so, what I'm going to try to do is just as, to, to bring. Some of the questions, that are already on the table back first into conversation. And I. Have, sort of two broad categories in, which I think that questions that were posed by. All the participants, including, Flavia who can be here, can. Be thought of on, the one hand we can think about questions. Of, transmedia, or multimodal, practices. These, are V I. Mean, what we're doing here in this anthropological. Contact. Our questions, of, conventional. Disciplinary, authority, including questions. About the professional, career art that's made available. You, know in relationship, to you know these sort of intrepid, experimentations. And efforts on the table here so questions that many. Of you already raised about, institutional. Issues, institutional, constraints visa, V thinking about creative, practice, and one, of the striking things is the notion of collaboration the.
Collaborative, Aspect, that includes also. You. Know grappling, with a skill set that in, fact. You. Know the this conventional. Notion of anthropology. As a profession, of soul ethnographers. You, know the sort of old convention, at least in socio-cultural. Which, I think archaeology, really opens up a different word everything about teamwork and, so forth but this notion we still we're still burdened with this idea, especially in the most conventional. I. Ideal. Elite. Professional. Achievements. Of our field that. You. Know other, thing as sherry order pert in the seventies the self, is the instrument of knowledge right the lone ethnic. Graphic. Immersive. Malinowski. And type figure, right who goes off by his own no, other. Researcher. Around him and the. Fact that our careers I mean in some ways we think about scholarly. Innovation. In terms of an individual. Idea of originality and. You. Know recognition, professional. Recognition based, on individual, effort, so, graduate, students right I mean think about your training and graduate students you apply, for grant sure you don't apply as a team I mean that is that that is not what is gonna get someone to any position. Post. Post, PhD, you do your individuated. Project. You're. Not you're not include, your encouraged not to do any kind of co-author share let alone even just, in the conventions, of our field even in the publishing, world of any, kind of collaborative, editing, right, the most conventional, form of product. We produce right, edit a collection, oh what a waste of time right do your peer review single author piece, so, the fact that here, we have a question, of collaborative, work and its, affordances. For how you might imagine. Anthropology. Or other related fields I would, think for Jessie as well in given, that you're situated in, academic, contact, the institutional. Arc, and the judgments. Of that you know open up different world so I'm curious about how you. All think about you know how where, you're going, and in. Relationship, that you how you think the discipline, is going for instance because on the other hand I think yeah. I started taking a creative coding, class which involves. Partly design, partly. Coding, none of which I have. Background, I have some background in film but, I come, to the realization, the this is a high by in the skill sets that are, possible. And I'm very curious about how in fact you. Might mobilize, this set. Is. It possible, to do such a project, outside of. A collaborative, multidisciplinary. Effort. And then, where does where does the Anthropology, go right, is it still anthropology, do we even care does that matter as. A question and I and I think back to the old visual. Anthropology debates, about ethnographic. Film like where's the ethnography, in it which was one of the most probably, inane and long-lasting debates. Like is it ethnographic is it located in the. Professional. Who directs, it is it located in the content is it located in the public's that it. Invokes. And gathers around it so. I think this was a vote by, questions. About process, about thinking about how to cite the work in. Roderick's. Term of how do you frame the problem and, the. Kind of question, of can, we think about the process, of what you're doing as contributing. To, their. For the formation of a, project, that's different, if you begin with these tools with multimodal in mind how, does that change even. The nature of how we might think about the the anthropological, project. You know something like technical, trouble you know problem solving what, does that mean, when that's embedded, already, from the conception, to project. Formation. Rather. Than what I think of as the add-on, I mean the our you know there is a kind of fetish of new media on the other hand, universities. Are invested, in creating, what they call hackerspaces. Or makerspaces. By just putting a laser cutter and a whatever, 3d printer in there some equipment, and. So there's a product fetish on the other hand where I'm an ethnographer but, imma have I have a blog and that's new media but, you all are taking that into your thinking about these from the beginning and the conception, of your project, so, I'm curious about how the process, and.
And Not not the focus on the product the publication, or the endpoint but even in starting. From the originator, point of this always being part of your practice as, a professional academic. Or, artist, how that you. Think contributes, to. How. You then intervene, in this world that we're in in. A place like this as. Well as how you navigate, your institutional. Context, given that you know given that all of you have done collaborative. Projects, some solo, but. I'm curious if solo, projects, are possible I think Robert your project was probably, more in, the visual II base maybe you'll, have to tell us about it but, that, would be one of the starting questions, I would love to hear more about since collaboration, was put on the table but, in our field it's in fact not. Necessarily. Conventional. Even as the. Tenure-track. Though. Those you know desirable, jobs are disappearing we're creating, huge classes, of temporary, flex. Academics. Who move around and have to piece things together or people, are being pushed into administration. As where the growth sex. Segment, of university. Work is so. Even the institutional, position of how we think about all this I think is shifting. Yeah. I think, for. Me I'm I have, a PhD, in anthropology but, I was, hired by an interdisciplinary. Technology. Focused school, called the school of interactive arts and technology which. Is in itself a. Collaborative. Institution. It's one that encourages, collaboration, and, in the tenure. And promotion, criteria it says we value, collective, authorship, we value, co-creation, we value, making these. Are things that are not usually in anthropology. Tenure. And promotion criteria so. I'm not worried about it still being anthropology. And. I think my students, who graduate, students who come to work with me who have backgrounds, in anthropology are also interested, in doing collaborative. Work. Because. Certainly. The project I have just shared is not, one that could ever have been realized, outside of collaboration. And and and its origins, are in trying. To talk about the value of collaboration between. You. Know archaeologists. And community. Members and I, think the insight, for, me comes out of being, able to step back and think about the collective process. Of making and the collective process of designing, which. Elicits. Information. That I think is of interest in value to anthropologists. And people interested in culture, and design and material. Culture and exhibition, and curation and digital museum networks and. But. It's, not about any, kind of single expert, it's actually about collective experience, and it's about collective. Relationship. Building that the, project can only come to be if relationships. Are built in, a way that is respectful write it in. A way that relationships. Can be maintained, over time and it's not only relationships, that you date our people but it's relationships, between people and data relationships. Between people and objects, between people and territory, different, people different territories.
So. I think, collaboration. In terms of the, project I've explored. And many. Others that I see is, essential. Right I don't see it working outside, and that doesn't mean that. Projects. Have to be that way so I like I was thinking of Rods, project, and assisting, to you describe the design of the project right the development, of the project your own process, as a researcher, and an artist and, then at some point you invite. Participation. In your project. I wonder, how, collaborative, it is in terms of the design and the outcome so that, there is there are those questions as well and that's something with other projects, I've worked on I've exported develop, something and then I seek. Feedback. Or. Participation. But. I don't always see that as the same as collaborative, design not, that everything has to be collaborative design and there's a whole tradition of participatory, design and. Collaborative, making, that sometimes, these projects, can work within and sometimes they don't. This. Is a great question for me, because. I let's. Talk about the art world briefly. Maps. Pretty neatly, on to the soul at nog refer tradition. I, exist. Institutionally, in a department of individual, artists, who. By. And large work. Individually. Often. You know in in reflecting. On some larger, situation. But it's, the, sole author, tradition. Is powerful. In the art world, it. Unless you've set up a program like Kate's that is explicitly not that and and so we're in the process of you know in recognition of that disconnect, we're trying to set up that program right now and so, I'm really really excited but I mean I'm always excited about Kate's program I'm excited to learn about Rogers programs that you know that they would these new institutional, frameworks that might kind, of envelope or overlap, with existing ones or is one our one strategy to, make. It possible but I'll acknowledge that in the project that I talked about you. Know the missing the the, process, story is interesting and and it's at risk of being lost because. The. The original, invitation. Essentially, to work in in the Canadian subarctic was through, an. Anthropology, collaborator who can't be here today and, at. This, point five, six years later the. Project I'm showing you this kind of mock-up of an immersive space is a it's. A collaboration with another artist but it, exists, within it's a sole author project, within.
Our Collaboration, it it has become detached from the anthropology to a large degree for, structural, reasons you know for reasons of not because we we no longer value, the collaboration, but we're no longer we're. No longer funded, to collaborate, our, incentives, individually. Within our institutions, aren't, very. Supportive, I mean as you described a kind of conventional problem of is that the work that your institution, wants you to do and. And. And, we're so we're fighting back as best we can, the, the other issue the but it's not just structural, I mean there's there's the kind of our. Trainings, do conflict and that conflict has. Been very. Productive in that that project that part started. As with nothing in mind as, many, good projects do I mean we went to the site and, and we went to the site a few times, you. Know over, over the years and of course Lindsay had been to the site for a number of years in her fieldwork phase. So. I think, I've been to the site six times now in five, years and it takes two days to get there so it's it's a you know a substantial, undertaking one of the things that we often talk about is these different speeds I trained as a designer originally. Which. Operates an even, faster speed, often, than artists, who operate at a faster speed than anthropologists. This would this is a gross generalization of course when my experience would be that the, idea of doing two years of fieldwork is the most the most amazing thing I've ever heard that you know I'd love to do that I have no idea how that's possible given. The you know the pressure to produce work and. Finish artwork I stretch, my artwork out as long as I possibly can because I value that time but you know there is a point where you know one needs to finish, something. The. And, and so this this immersive space one. Of my disappointments, and my question, around. The use, of the database in some ways comes out of have. We lost the spirit, of the place in making this very narrow choice I I'm really excited about that project I mean I I want to be careful about not I think its value. And I'm really excited to present it back both - hey River itself I mean that we have a group, of collaborators, on the ground of course you. Know in order to make, up something like that happen and we needed you know access to the building and have permissions. Of various types from, people. You, know in in town um, but. I also. Recognize that you know we've we've made this very specific, and narrow choice it no longer kind of embodies the stories of lived, within the building it's it's not, we've. We've made an artistic choice in. A certain direction and and, in some respects that precludes other choices and what I not, don't. Find myself empowered, to do I would love to take, kind, of Roddick's as gates example and kind of make that mmm. That suite of. Belongings. That. You know that I would love to make but I'm not really in a position to do so right now. Aspect. Cuz in, a way I think in the context here with anthropology, and. That. Anthropology, and research has a lot to offer the creation, of projects. I see it as a bunch, of as intersecting. Four methods. And that. In.
A Way what's wonderful, about the multimodal, or multi element the transmedia, approach, is that you let these different questions intersect, so, you kind of let one thing take form in that approach, and then and let another one criss cross it and those some, may be solo, acts your. Artwork your collaborative artwork is one person that person is collaborative art work with someone else yours with, someone else and bringing, in others and letting them build so. In a way that can keep growing. And what's one of the things I think in a number of these projects is this sense, of growing from one direction to another through a collaborative. Two. Points. Of collaboration, and point to diversion, because you also want to plunge in to, plunge. That into or long avenues, of thought questions. That, that. Also. Require. Internal. Exploration. The idea of what what is the individuals, does, the individual exist in this in the context, of talking about ecology which is a question, so dominant. In current ecological, writing and how, does in, a way an rhizome, ik expansion, of thought, get. Triggered. By letting, certain things go while holding on others lit and go and go, off on their own and the questions you ask about database, are very much that how does one then let the database go off on its own versus. Being trapped by it because database, like, the logic of 19th and 20th century logics of of. Total. Total. Structures. Content. Ended limits, rather. Imprisons. Thought rather, than expands, it tries to prove that to everything is is viewable, as a whole. I. Found. This is question you asked Kate about how we, have, you. Know we control design or let design open I think that's the other element. Of a transmedia, approach, is that some to. Certain, elements or once you design it give give ways for people to express themselves they wouldn't have without that design being built and other aspects. Are to design together so. Say on the River Project we. Have my, own explorations, and designs I have. Exploring this map and people have invited in, then. I passed that on to an, architect. And he's, developing, a game and, responding, to my response, through the design of a game and then. The two of us are setting up these forums, where people create these memory, experiences, and invent, landscapes. That, then. Move. Into game territory, and that results. Finally in his presentation, of these. Self-created. But. Connected. Expressions. Of what a, land, the river in a place Meno, could mean so, in a way it's to build and then let go as, part of the process we're trying with that project, and. I can't do that with every, project I did project on torture. In Iraq that was a VR project, with computer scientists and there the elaborate technology. Limited. How much one could let, it go it was very collaboratively, designed, within the four people participating. But. In. A way unlike. Say theater anthropology, with there's a lot of space, for give-and-take, there the burden of Technology limited the, burden. Of technology sometimes. It opens up elements. And sometimes it forces. One down to have a more. Constrained experience, for me I. Think. I think also, what. You asked about the sort of the role of collaboration. And technology. Could. Be brought back to Jessi's. The. Role of configuration. And how you sort. Of had to, put, a lot of time into setting, up technology. Which. Then opens, up. For just an hour yet another questions. Where. Do we put the sort of the end of, collaborations. And technological. Stakeholders. That, are really influencing. Or taking part of your. Process where well who. Has, really contributed what. Is it what. Are all these invisible. Things. Of a process so that are a part. Of the machine, that makes it possible to even, be an academic. This. Kind of conference what is the sort of machine, upright, all upholding. It all we, never make that visible. Why. Not so, but when we start working, with more technological. New. Media related. Works. We'll all the time have to ask ourselves, where. Does sort of my, work stop, and where does someone else's work. Begin. And how is that relation, and. How. Do we deal with that relation, so. What. Are all those stakeholders, those machines that are never made visible, why. Are not made visible which, are made visible and, so, on I think, these are of course very big questions but I think, they're worth well. Thinking about I. Think. Those are there's a really interesting questions, and something. I was thinking about when rod was speaking and now well, with. What you've just described, I, see, in my own work and in other projects, that's this notion of emergence, you know emergent.
Projects. Emergent. Associations. Of people through networks, and. Sometimes, things are open enough to facilitate. This emergence, and other, times you know the the networks are closed so that no emerge no emergent. Work as possible, so I think of for example a museum database. Or a collections. Network that, in the past has been a closed network, it's been accessible only to curators. And museum professionals. Something. Like the reciprocal, research network that I that, I showed. In my presentation, is an open, system, for the most part it's it's developed, with open source software it's. Been developed collectively. And written in, a collaborative way and, also, the, choice of, certain. Software. Toolkits, like their API for example is, representational. It can be read by people it can be read by machines, and it can be used. For. Emergent. Work so, taking. Say, the search results. Related. To a certain collection of material that can be exported and reused. In another environment. Like, journalists. You you know using api's, to share news feeds and other places so a museum, has, taken I've. Made a decision, collectively, to make their work available to support emergence. To support collaboration in fact they, make their process, visible, through code if if you can read it and, you're, supposed to be able to well if you can read it right so. I think there. Is an interesting, kind. Of dynamic, to notice and, the. The technology and, the people who create it have, a role in, decision, making about making, something open or close in the past it has not been open so, I am, happy to see projects, that actively, try, to exploit, and play with that notion. Those. Those. Tales well, into my next general, question. Which you know bring some of your questions together and this is back to Jesse's. Question, about technical. Problem solving, and where that appears, you know again process, versus, product if you're thinking about the the whole arc of the project, and. And this you know question that Kate, just raised. About emerging, and new media, so, one of my you know my other set of questions is about new media forms and, their affordances. For addressing, whether we're talking about some kind of problem in the problem formation. Stage that. Roderick. Brought up in thinking about site as a sort of way to think about a, problem for project, formation, or publics in terms of the dissemination and, persuasion. So, one of the things of course that's been happening is, you. Know whether we're looking at visual anthropology the, subfield or anthropology, in general we're kind of pushing. The boundaries of thinking about conventions. Of things like documentary. Observational. Realism, on the one hand we've, moved, you know since the 80s in thinking about a post positive empirical. In terms of how to think about even. The kind of empirical, research we, do to. You know the ubiquity, in our public. Culture right now if you know the debates about fake news and, so forth but, but you know one of the things that's really interested, me across the projects, is how a.
Lot Of it is mobilizing. The possibilities. Of these new technologies, to think about different sensory, registers, and tap. Into different modes of a to min and what a different. Kind of inquiry to can do and therefore, also what the product looks like so in our activity, for instance the fact that mobilizing. The. Depends, on a walking, tour or moving. Around a space is, quite different than how we might think of the anthropological, encounter. Of you, know reading and or whatever all of which we know is also pedagogical. Right so even reading, the convention, of silent, reading took time to develop right the shift in how you approach and engage, with a book shifted, over time and, one of the things I remember from reading a piece that Roderick. You wrote about multimedia is in fact sometimes a high buy-in, into even. Adequately. Exploring. The world in a quality, way because of the the nature of navigation. And the investment, and so. You know I'm, curious about what. You might think about you. Know what these kinds, of new technologies are, using what are their affordances, what do they lend themselves to and are, there already passage. On are conventions, that are setting in you, know insofar as we can look at a moment what's exciting, about working with new stuff is you, know there's a moment, and, you. Know you. Know media where the codes have not the, new grammar or conventions, have not set in so, the beginning of cinema you know mobilised theatrical. Codes before, you have this break with montage, or whatever whatnot, and. We can think of the same thing as this is a moment experiment, on the other hand just. By taking this creative coding class I noticed certain conventions, people are already talking about, right. So in the world of interactive, VR you know 80% of, interaction, means some, kind of trigger or collision, event right, collision. Is the, mode of attunement. In this, world of you know this media ecology or something. Like data visualization. I was just reading this you, know d3, for dummies where they're like oh they're you know what you usually do is you start with the summation, the, grand graph. That's is like the the and then you move into detail, it's almost like the opening, you, know shots of sighting, a place right you have this dad looking shot and you go to the medium graphs and then, the detailed, work so, already there's these you, know I don't, think reflexively. Thought. About conventions, or even setting into something like interactive. Data visualization, so. I'm thinking, about you know since all, of you are working at the crossroads, of not just one field like you know the visualization, specialist. But across how, that might enable, you to think about the very form, of the media its affordances, what's made available and also its limitations. Given, that code for insist as a language of this Greek command, so, from built into how we understand, the interaction, with code is that. Right, that it begins as however you translated, it begins with this notion of command. And most of the actual writing is about, debugging and, in, trouble I mean it is a troubleshooting, world right it's all editing, it's, not so much you borrow, and then you're debugging and troubleshooting, so that's its conventions, let's, talk about two forms and, we might also think about and one is a mapping, has been. Interested, in mapping to. Address this question is so. One of the reasons I'm very interested in math Amin is because of the, rather. Totalizing, logic. Of google maps that, in. Attempts. To give a sense a, common. Sense of being told totally, covered totally viewed totally, am totally embraced and yet most of us don't exist, within, those maps so how do you find points, of. Resilience. Point of, protest. Points of. Identity. When, those maps actually pretty, much exclude. Exclude. Others other interpretations, of space so. One of the roles of, the, research on the ground has been, to, give people tools, of make. Remapping. Their own landscapes, and through language writing, landscapes. Through sensory, arts sensing. Landscapes, through, storytelling, doing, in acting. Whether it's political protests, like having. Regardez. On the. Schuylkill, River or, through, other forms of intervention to, break up this. Totalizing. View, and, the same can be true with VR, is how does one break up in a way VR has this thing that, was true with 19th century panorama of on the one hand creating a totalizing. Vision, and yet within it through, if, one begins to break it up to montage and layering and portals, and disruptions. In those conventions, you suddenly have a politic, politic. Against, the, sense of totalization. And. The illusion. Of immersion. And, total. View so, in, and I think we have a number of media that do this I try to give in a sense a total view in which we're, encompassed, in the media versus.
We're Extended. So. One. Of our great. Educational. Tasks, I find is to teach. All. Of us you. Know if it comes back on our own work is to learn how how. To have response when, these systems get more, and more complex in their totalizing capacity. So. Number. One for, me is engaging, in your question about the. Technology, platform is a, means of response they all have within them the ruptures, and the fakes. In a way the, limits. The moment they try and create a total version you know the total the total structure, is it helps, one define the limit of that particular medium and that's I think we see that with google map which we. Use all the time and. Yet. It's such a dangerous tool and and VR has many of the same trappings, I wrote about this in switching codes and again now in this new, book digital imaginaries. It's coming out that. Is. The. That. In a way on. A one hand layering. And compiling. You. Begin to break up all of these conventional. Languages, like those the separation, of Montoya the dialectical montage Amazon sin which doesn't exist but, then what so, then what has to be something, about one, of them roots is this collaboratively. Repurposing. And, I think that's where we, see and a lot of the projects of