Anthropologies of Technique / Techniques of Anthropology: Final student workshops

Ethnographers have to evolve their methods while investigating other people’s artful practices. How to make sense of other ways of making?

Contemporary multimodal ethnographic approaches are deeply rooted in fieldwork interactions with other knowing and making communities. Describing and theorizing making practices contributes to triggering new interests in material cultures. It also branches out to further studies on embodiment and on the techniques of the self. Telling better stories of making means sharpening our techniques for storytelling, experimenting with new media, and probing other ways of entering into collaboration with epistemic partners.

During the summer semester of 2023, we engaged in four collective fieldworks around technical activities: pottery, boomerang making, 3D sketching, and Iyengar yoga. We experimented with various ways to share the ethnographic experiences of “making” practices into text, drawings, workshops, and virtual installations. Students have also actively explored one technique of their choice during the course and documented their practice with a fieldwork notebook, using various techniques such as writing, sketching, 360° captures, etc.

Together on 14.07.2023, we will share our findings with the public in workshop formats, during which students will share their insights, their journals, and their newly acquired practices.

This seminar was taught by Prof. Sharon Macdonald and Dr. Maxime Le Calvé at the Helmholz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, part of the curriculum of the Master programme “Ethnography” at the Institute für Europeäische Ethnographie (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin).