The Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth’s 2019 conference
This panel explores experimental and creative ways of doing anthropology and of producing anthropological knowledge, as means to develop more flexible and responsive modes of research in contemporary shifting material settings. We will focus on investigations of spaces, including built environments.
This panel invites papers to explore experimental and creative ways of doing anthropology and of producing anthropological knowledge, as means to develop more flexible and responsive modes of research in contemporary shifting material settings. The panel's focus is the investigation of dynamic spaces, including built environments. With reference wider developments in experimental anthropology (see Schneider and Wright, 2013, 2017), we take as a starting point a collaborative project: Hallam's mixed-media 'Rooms Experiment: a fast installation' at the Anatomy Rooms, Marischal College Aberdeen (2017) which included the 'Bird Staircase (after Walter Murch)' sound installation by Lucas. This comprised video projections and audio recordings that manipulated and interpreted sensory responses to a building, part of which had been vacated and locked for years. Recent initiatives such as Taussig's (2011) and Causey's work on drawn anthropology (2017), Elliot & Culhane's imaginative methodologies (2017), and work on the 'Knowing from the Inside' project (Ingold) indicate growing interest in innovative research and exhibitions made possible through alternative practices. How might we come to know places by combining anthropological and art practices, as well as approaches from further disciplines? Sensory engagement with space can be examined through provocations such as alternative walking practices (Careri, 2002); soundscape installations (Augoyard & Torgue, 2006); or drawing and inscriptive practice (Lucas, 2019). How might fresh methodological and theoretical insights be gained through such practices? Papers are invited to consider, through experimental modes of anthropology, how spaces - in rapidly changing contexts and environments - come to be produced and known.
Convenors: Elizabeth Hallam (University of Oxford) and Raymond Lucas (University of Manchester)