Category Archives: form

TL Taylor at VKS

One of the final activities of the virtual ethnography collaboratory of the Virtual Knowledge Studio was the visit of TL Taylor. During her time in Amsterdam, TL focused on a book project, on ethnographic methodology for the study of virtual worlds, in which she is involved with other colleagues. She presented on part of this project in our research meeting, in a talk entitled ‘Ethnography as Play’.

Another part of the visit consisted in the preparation of a session on Fieldwork as Method and Process for Artful Encounters: on ethnography, art and conservation. TL and I had a great time interviewing each other, and we were very pleased at how generously the audience reacted when we turned the interview questions on them!

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Along with writing culture?

One of the discussions at the working papers day last  year was sparked by the material provided by Marianne Franklin. Her submission sought to transfer her work on the constitution of fields from an conference performance, involving image, video, sound and talk, to a multi-media, hyperlinked text on a pdf support.

This discussion raised many issues: norms of communication, writing styles, linearity, modes of disciplining knowledge, and the rules we impose on ourselves and each other with regards to what counts as academic output.

This is an important topic, and one which might well be worth revisiting in the course of Collaboratory work. Formulating the issue(s) will be a challenge, since the vocabulary of scholarly work tends to emphasise text, writing and authorship… all elements we might seek to question or transcend or maybe even ignore. Yet, terms are needed to set the debate. I propose: ‘along with writing culture’ as a phrase to label these efforts at ‘doing things differently’.

There are several ways into this debate besides using new tools for mediation of our work–but that is definetely a part of it. A tip I received along these lines is a tool called Sophie, from the Annenberg School. Anyone heard of it or used it? And what are other trails to follow?

ps
This post had been dormant since last June, but was revived partly through our discussion of Coming of Age, in which Boelstorff affirms that writing a book about an object like a virtual world is an important statement.

Red Tuesday

A new look: cold weather colours, comments on top, and a fresh navigation structure via the tag cloud.