SSW 05: Artists and designers relations with ethnography

Site and Subjective Writing (SSW)

11.10.2010 15 - 17 : SSW Session 05: ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS RELATIONS WITH ETHNOGRAPHY

.

Ethnography & Artists: Writing about situations of engaging/engagement

Hamish Fulton: 'Land Art' and 'Walking Art'

Hamish Fulton, English artist & photographer
http://www.hamish-fulton.com/
http://www.hamish-fulton.com/hamish_fulton_v01.htm

Fulton engages in walks by himself, and is the only person to directly experience them; however he creates images, photographs and text which allow viewers to engage with the artist’s experiences, concerned with inviting them into the landscape.

Hamish Fulton: 21 Days in the Cairngorms
http://www.deveron-arts.com/wb/pages/artists/hamish-fulton.php

Article by By Susan Mansfield:
When is a walk a piece of art? When artist Hamish Fulton brings his transcendental approach to the pedestrian to town (The Scotsman, 23.4.2010)
http://news.scotsman.com/arts/When-is-a-walk-a.6244445.jp

.

“In the Spring of 1970 I visited the Isle of Arran off the west coast of Scotland. One day I decided to swim the half-mile stretch of sea between Kings Cross on Arran and the Lighthouse on Holy Island. I had never been to the Holy Island. As I was swimming close to the rocks by the lighthouse I a man and a women walking over the rocks towards me. They gave me a hand out onto the land. The man was my geography teacher from school whom I had not seen for six years. He is now the lighthouse keeper on the island.”

Hamish Fulton, Isle of Arran (1970), in Interfunktionen, no. 6 (1971).

(Extract from Docherty, Claire (2010), Situations, chapter 'Fieldwork', p.64)

.

Adrian Piper: Writing her own context & theory for participatory/interaction-based work

Notes on Funk I-II (1983-1985)

READ

(Extract from Bishop, Claire (2006), Participation, chapter 'Artist's Writing')

Piper, Adrian. (1999) Out of Order, Out of Sight - Volume I: Selected Writings in Meta-Art 1968-1992, Cambridge: MIT Press.

http://books.google.fi/books?id=xWEw1MGXnIAC

http://archivingthecity.com/2010/06/11/adrian-pipers-funk-lessons/

.

Langlands & Bell, diary in the field accompanying the work

Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell

"explore the complex web of relationships linking people and architecture and the coded systems of circulation and exchange which surround us."

http://www.langlandsandbell.com/obl01.html
http://www.langlandsandbell.com/pubobl01.html
http://www.langlandsandbell.com

Afghan Diary (2002)

READ

(Extract from Docherty, Claire (2010), Situations, chapter 'Fieldwork', p.66-68)

.

Tacita Dean: Artistic research & writing text

http://www.tacitadean.net/

Tristian de Cunha (2005)

READ

(Extract from Docherty, Claire (2010), Situations, chapter 'Fieldwork', p.68-71)

Further reading..

Tacita Dean: In Search Of Inspiration

“How do you make a work of art for a place that's new to you and for which you have no cultural references? It's a task often given to the celebrated artist Tacita Dean, yet it always presents a challenge.” Interview by Nick Coleman, March 2007.

“One place I've had a fantasy about going to for years is Tristan da Cunha. There's only one boat a year, and all that business about communication and being able to write an annual letter… sooo appealing. I used to fantasise about Tristanians and imagined they were a sexy bunch. But now they've got a postcode and satellite communication and generators… it's terrible, terrible. Hah! One day."

http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/tacita-dean-in-search-of-inspiration-440791.html

.

Hal Foster: The Artist as Ethnographer

“Recenltly the old artist envey among anthropologists has turned the other way: a new ethnographer envey consumes many artists and critics.

If anthropologists wanted to exploit the textual model in cultural interpretation, these artists and critics aspire to fieldwork in which theory and practice seem to be reconciled.

Often they draw indirectly on basic principles of the participant-observer tradition, among which James Clifford notes a critical focus on a particular institution and a narrative tense that favours 'the ethnographic present'. Yet these borrowings are only signs of the ethnographic turn in contemporary art and criticism. What derives it?

“First.. anthropology is prized as the science of alterity; in this regard it is, along with psychoanalysis, the lingua franca of artistic practice and critical discourse alike.

Second, it is the discipline that takes culture as its object, and this expanded field of reference is the domain of post-modernist practice and theory (thus also the atrraction to cultural studies and, to a lesser extent, new historicism.

Third, ethnography is considered contextual, the often automatic demand for which contemporary artists and critics share with other practitioners today, many of whom aspire to fieldwork in the everyday.

Forth, anthropology is thought to arbitrate the interdisciplinary, another often rote value in contemporary art and criticism.

Fifth, the recent self-critique of anthropology renders it attractive for it primised a reflexivity of the ethnographer at the centre even as it preserves a romanticism of the other at the margins.”

(Quote from Extract in Docherty, Claire (2010), Situations, chapter 'Fieldwork', p.74-77)

Foster, Hal. (1996) The Artist as Ethnographer, in The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century Cambridge: MIT Press.

Key points & summary of issues..
http://uditis.blogspot.com/2010/07/reading-hal-foster-artist-as.html

Download full scanned article:
http://roundtable.kein.org/files/roundtable/Foster.pdf

.

Miwon Kwon: Itinerant Artists

“working in relation to call of interest (to site, community, institution..)
entering into a contractual, contextual agreement with host..
..repeated visits/extended stays in site
..research into particularities, consituency, audience
..consideration of the parameters of 'exhibition' - thematic, social relevance, other participants,
..meetings with curators, educators, administration support staff, who all end up 'collaborating' with the artist to produce the work.
..time consuming
..in the end engaging with the "site" in multiple ways
..documentation highlight work on institutional framework, maybe generating other opportunities elsewhere..
..success=globetrotting
..as a guest, tourist, adventurer, temporary inhouse critic, pseudo-ethnograpther..”

(Kwon, 2002: 46-56)

.

Ethnography & Design: Engaging in the field

Rapid Ethnography: Time deepening strategies for HCI field research

Abstract
Field research methods are useful in the many aspects of Human-Computer Interaction research, including gathering user requirements, understanding and developing user models, and new product evaluation and iterative design. Due to increasingly short product realization cycles, there has been growing interestth in more time efficient methods, including rapid prototyping methods and various usability inspection techniques. This paper will introduce "rapid ethnography," which is a collection of field methods intended to provide a reasonable understanding of users and their activities given significant time pressures and limited time in the field.. The core elements include limiting or constraining the research focus and scope, using key informants, capturing rich field data by using multiple observers and interactive observation techniques, and collaborative qualitative data analysis. A short case study illustrating the important characteristics of rapid ethnography will also be presented.

http://portal.acm.org/ft_gateway.cfm?id=347763&type=pdf&coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE&CFID=105269304&CFTOKEN=25133346 [Inside Aalto]

http://davidmlane.com/teaching/methods_04/rapidethnography.pdf

Millen, D. R. (2000). Rapid ethnography: time deepening strategies for HCI field research. In Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Designing interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques (New York City, New York, United States, August 17 - 19, 2000). D. Boyarski and W. A. Kellogg, Eds. DIS '00. ACM, New York, NY, 280-286.

.

Terry Hemmings and Andy Crabtree: Ethnography for Design?

Abstract
“Over the past decade, ethnography has become common parlance for anything remotely resembling fieldwork studies in contemporary system design. What is not often appreciated however is that the term glosses a host of different analytic perspectives on social interaction. A broad distinction may be drawn between interpretive and non-interpretive approaches to ethnographic inquiry. This paper articulates the distinction with particular reference to ethnomethodology, which has influenced ethnographic inquiry in a design context following Lucy Suchman’s pioneering work in the field.”

http://www.equator.ac.uk/var/uploads/IAW2_2002.pdf

Crabtree, A. and Rodden, T. (2002), “Ethnography and design?”. The 1st International Workshop on "Interpretive" Approaches to Information Systems, pages 70-74. Association of Information Systems.
.

Lois Frankel: Communicating Design Research Knowledge: A role for ethnographic writing

Abstract
“The recent use of ethnographic field research methods in design research practice reflects
the growing interest of designers in the expressive and cultural impact of the artifacts they create.
Design researchers have not, however, exploited the "thick description" methods used by
ethnographers to report their findings, but instead prefer to apply the results of design-driven
ethnographic research directly to the development of new product concepts. This paper proposes that ethnographic representation methods , including innovative visual representations, offer untapped potential for design research reporting, not just in terms of facilitating communications during the design process, but also as a record of ongoing atte mpts by designers to make sense of the broader field of historical design. Test projects by design students show the potential of ethnographic representation methods for design.”

Frankel, Lois. (2009). 'Communicating Design Research Knowledge: A Role for Ethnographic Writing', In proceedings of IASDR (International Association of Societies of Design Research), Seoul, Korea, October 18-22.

http://www.iasdr2009.org/ap/Papers/Orally%20Presented%20Papers/Design%20Method/Communicating%20Design%20Research%20Knowledge%20-%20A%20Role%20for%20Ethnographic%20Writing.pdf

Own work & essays on this overlap..

'Mapmyths' (aka Mapping and Sewing Together Mythologies), collaboration with Signe Pucena (LV), Fieldwork, exhibition, HTML archive, Project supported by by RIXC Centre for New Media Cultures, K@2 Centre for Culture and Information, 7.2003-10.2004, Liepaja/Inari, LV/FI. http://apaterso.info/projects/mapmyths

Paterson, A. G. (2004), 'Mapping Narratives and Fieldwork', In M. Tuters and R. Smite (eds.), Acoustic Space issue #5: Trans Cultural Mapping, Riga: RIXC Centre for New Media Culture. Available online (retrieved 20.1.2010): http://rixc.lv/reader/txt/txt.php?id=169&l=en

Paterson, A. G. (2005), Aware: rengo workshop re-presented as performance, Unpublished essay. URLs referenced [aware.uiah.fi] no longer online.
http://apaterso.info/texts/apaterson_rengo-represented_2005.pdf

Paterson, A. G. (2005), Aware: rengo workshop roles, Unpublished report. URLs referenced [aware.uiah.fi] no longer online.
http://apaterso.info/texts/apaterson_rengo-workshop-roles-report_2004.pdf

.

Other contexts

Situations: commissioning and research programme based at the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol, UK

“We are dedicated to the commissioning of outstanding artists' projects, often outside conventional gallery or museum contexts, which open up new forms of public engagement with contemporary art. We are also committed to placing our own projects within a wider international context through the development and dissemination of internationally significant research in contemporary art and commissioning.”

http://www.situations.org.uk/

.

References shared in this session:

Bishop, Claire. (2006), Participation, Documents of Contemporary Art series, London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press.

Crabtree, A. and Rodden, T. (2002), “Ethnography and design?”. The 1st International Workshop on "Interpretive" Approaches to Information Systems, pages 70-74. Association of Information Systems.

Docherty, Claire. (2010), Situations, Documents of Contemporary Art series, London/Cambridge: Whitechapel Gallery and MIT Press.

Frankel, Lois. (2009). 'Communicating Design Research Knowledge: A Role for Ethnographic Writing', In proceedings of IASDR (International Association of Societies of Design Research), Seoul, Korea, October 18-22.

Foster, Hal. (1996) The Artist as Ethnographer, in The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century Cambridge: MIT Press.

Kwon, Miwon. (2002) One Place After Another: site-specific art and locational identity, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Millen, D. R. (2000). Rapid ethnography: time deepening strategies for HCI field research. In Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Designing interactive Systems: Processes, Practices, Methods, and Techniques (New York City, New York, United States, August 17 - 19, 2000). D. Boyarski and W. A. Kellogg, Eds. DIS '00. ACM, New York, NY, 280-286.

Piper, Adrian. (1999) Out of Order, Out of Sight - Volume I: Selected Writings in Meta-Art 1968-1992, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Svenungsson, Jan. (2007). An Artist's Text Book. Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Fine Arts Press.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License