In this Wildcard presentation at EPIC2022, violinist and composer Zosha Warpeha speaks about her artistic research in Norway, which involved an immersive study of Nordic traditional music and the development of a highly personal solo performance practice. This session illustrates a participatory model of ethnographic research through which the artist built an embodied knowledge of traditional music and laid the groundwork for artistic expansion. She speaks about aural transmission in traditional folk music, tacit knowledge attained through embodied practice, and reciprocal relationships between bodies in space. She also discusses the tension between two visions of preservation—one that captures a tradition in a single moment in time and one that allows the tradition to organically evolve alongside a community—and makes the case for the necessity of innovation as a method of preservation and resilience. This video includes a short musical performance that demonstrates the culmination of the...
This presentation narrates my journey as a skeptical researcher into the emerging world of NFTs. After unexpectedly moving into this much-hyped space, I use the resilience that curiosity fosters to overcome my skepticism of it and explore the human possibilities within. Through continuous questioning and learning how to code my own NFT from scratch, I realize their promise as a new medium for unbounded human expression. I then frame this self-discovery as a revelation and triangulate it with examples of NFT artistry captured during fieldwork. Finally, and counterintuitively, I question the veracity of my own revelation and argue that continuous questioning, even of our own work, strengthens our resilience as researchers, so we can better learn, adapt and evolve to confront the unexpected and address the profound questions of our ever-changing world.
Citation: 2022 EPIC Proceedings p 137, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...
University of Amsterdam
Cultivating resilience while navigating uncertainty is crucial for refugees. In the Netherlands, after receiving asylum and the right to work, refugees are often urged to adapt or evolve in hopes of successfully integrating into the Dutch economy. How do forced migrants who pursue work in creative enterprises help us rethink the relationship between forging new lives and uncertain futures? In this paper, resiliency of refugees is presented as a process of creative performance and experimentation. Efforts taken by refugees to explore, or ‘self-potentialize’, new future creative pathways suggest that resilience is overly simplified when defined as a pursuit of resistance to integrate and conform into established creative industries. The stories of two refugees living in Amsterdam showcase how resiliency is future-oriented, processual (Pink & Seale 2017), and connected to the preservation of one’s ‘capacity to aspire’ (Appadurai 2013). ‘Future-making’ is embedded into their...
ALMINA KARYA ODABASI
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
This PechaKucha is drawn from research conducted as an organizational ethnography at The Dutch National Ballet (DNB), a renowned professional organization in the culture and arts sector in the Netherlands. However, just like most research trajectories, mine was also full of hurdles that I needed to overcome, the biggest being Coronavirus and the disruptions it created. While constantly adapting myself and my research to the circumstances of the day, I agree with Marcus and Fischer’s description of ethnography being a “messy, qualitative experience” (1986, p.22). I have come to recognize how resilience is very much engraved in the ballet as a profession with opportunities to observe its manifestation even before (or during) adversities; and its learnings can be useful for other (cultural) settings and/or disciplines. In this PechaKucha, by proposing a new perspective to understand ethnographic practice, I suggest that what we learn from ballet can impact the resilience...
Keynote Speaker: SARAH ELLIS, Director of Digital Development, Royal Shakespeare Company
Sarah Ellis is an award-winning producer, the Director of Digital Development for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and a fellow of the University of Worcester for her work in arts and technology. She has been awarded The Hospital Club & Creatives Industries award for cross industry collaboration for her work on the RSC’s The Tempest (with Intel and The Imaginarium Studios.) In 2013 she was listed in the 100 most influential people working in Gaming and Technology by The Hospital Club and Guardian Culture. She is an Industry Champion for the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre, which helps inform academic research on the creative industries. She has been appointed Chair of digital agency, The Space, established by Arts Council England and the BBC....
Moderator: AFRA CHEN, Fudan University
Panelists: CHUMA ANAGBADO, Artist & Designer; NATASCHA NANJI, LAY IT ON THICK; RASA SMITE, RIXC Center for New Media Culture; RAITIS SMITS, RIXC Center for New Media Culture
In the age of pandemics and climate crises, reality is represented via varied narratives on health, politics, and the environment across different cultural and social contexts. As artists, designers, and ethnographers practicing the art of narration within different specialties and contexts, this panel aims to showcase how creative professionals re-organize their methods, practices, relationships, and lives in the face of present circumstances. Panelists will share how art and design can help us reflect upon the present and address any future challenges.
Afra Chen is a PhD candidate in medical anthropology from Fudan university, her research interests mainly centered around medical/biological technologies and how do they intersects with societal changes in China, her recent research focused...
AMAPOLA RANGEL FLORES
Universidad de las Américas Puebla
Indigenous textiles are objects and material culture creations often exposed and subjected to plagiarism by international brands. The concept of intellectual property is not created for, or considering indigenous dynamics and social structures. This article argues, through the study of a Mixtec community in Oaxaca, Mexico, how new concepts should be outlined. Through the use of ethnography and the anticipation of plagiarism, a community requests the work of an anthropologist to backup their textile knowledge and allow for a precedent to be set where the particular know-how is detailed as part of the Collective Intellectual Property of the community. Article citation: 2021 EPIC Proceedings pp 224–239, ISSN 1559-8918, https://www.epicpeople.org/epic...
a book review by VERONICA KIM HOTTON
As we anticipate EPIC2021—yes, bring on the puns—I had the spectacular task of studying The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. My goal was to find small ways to spark our EPIC community's curiosity ahead of her EPIC keynote. As a regular audiobook listener, I listened to the voice of Janina Edwards bring Ebony Thomas’ work from the page to my ears, and if you are looking to add an audiobook to your virtual shelf, it’s a fantastic audiobook; you should not hesitate. I also have the paper book and it is a wonder to hold.
Because Ebony weaves in autoethnographic storytelling throughout her book, my personal experiences were what first drew me to this work. We both grew up in Michigan. Ebony was in Detroit and I was a white girl in one of the many suburbs spawned by White Flight. We are Generation X with “the holy trinity of our mid-1980s children’s films [being] The Neverending Story, The Dark Crystal, and—my favorite...
Welcome to EPISODE ONE in a series of conversations with some of the makers and speakers of EPIC2021—a global, virtual conference and community promoting ethnography for impact in business, organizations and communities.
In this episode, Luc Aractingi talks with Sarah Ellis, Director of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Keynote Speaker at EPIC2021.
Find out why artists are the consummate innovators and Shakespeare is on the cutting edge of mixed reality and emerging technologies!
LUC: Hello and welcome to EPIC interviews, a series where we get to know the makers and hosts of the conference EPIC 2021. Today we are interviewing Sarah Ellis, who is the Director of Digital Development at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Hello, thank you for coming.
SARAH: Hello, nice to be here.
LUC: I was wondering if you could tell us more about your role.
SARAH: I work for the Royal Shakespeare Company and my job is the first job of its kind where I'm the Director of Digital Development. What that means is...
JOYCE S. LEE
University of California, Berkeley
PechaKucha Presentation—Paper documents are increasingly being replaced with digital files, infinitely replicable for seemingly no cost. Yet I've always felt the pull of paper, with a personal affinity for physical books and a background in magazine production. Through my recreational publishing practice, I learn of the “riso” or risograph, a duplicating machine increasingly adopted by Bay Area artists and technology corporations alike. Upon first glance, most risograph models resemble familiar Xerox machines, with their boxy, gray exteriors, protruding buttons, and hinged tops that cover glass beds for scanning.
Through my own experiences and interviews with subject matter experts, however, I come to understand the allure of the risograph: its temperamental nature as an analog machine and the uniquely “human” quality of the prints it renders. I posit the risograph's popularity is a response to technological advances and resulting societal changes, acting as a reprieve...
“Sketchnoting” is the ability to make fast and useful visual notes. It has become a recognized contemporary visual practice in different disciplines. Visual note taking can be a powerful skill for anyone in any role where one needs to absorb and share information.
In this tutorial you will exercise your “scriber” muscles and understand how the simple act of sketching and even “doodling” can help you think and even stimulate your thoughts in a new, unanticipated directions. It can improve your ability to remember information packed into your notes and to communicate ideas to team members with clarity and precision.
We will review what science has to say about the act of note taking as a way to listen and focus your attention, achieving connection and training your brain to understand visual grammar by weaving words and pictures into your own visual processing powers.
During the session you will practice capturing content from lectures or articles as visual notes in real...
EPIC2019 Keynote Address, Providence, Rhode Island
ZACH LIEBERMAN, School for Poetic Computation
Zach Lieberman is an artist, researcher and educator with a simple goal: he wants you surprised. In his work, he creates performances and installations that take human gesture as input and amplify them in different ways—making drawings come to life, imagining what the voice might look like if we could see it, transforming peoples silhouettes into music. He’s been listed as one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People and his projects have won the Golden Nica from Ars Electronica, Interactive Design of the Year from Design Museum London as well as listed in Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of the Year. He creates artwork through writing software, is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding, and helped co-found the School for Poetic Computation, a school examining the lyrical possibilities of code. His website is zach.li and he’s active on Instagram and Twitter....
Few professions appear more at odds, at least on the surface, than ethnography and data science. The first deals in qualitative “truths,” gleaned by human researchers, based on careful, deep observation of only a small number of human subjects, typically. The latter deals in quantitative “truths,” mined through computer-executed algorithms, based on vast swaths of anonymous data points. To the ethnographer, “truth” involves an understanding of how and why things are truly the way they are. To the data scientist, “truth” is more about designing algorithms that make guesses that are empirically correct a good portion of the time. Data science driven products, like those that Uptake builds, are most powerful and functional when they leverage the core strengths of both data science and ethnographic insights: what we call Human-Centered Data Science. I will argue that data science, including the collection and manipulation of data, is a practice that is in many ways as human-centered and subjective...
Do we really understand how we became practitioners of ethnography?
In this talk, I go through a re-discovery of the links between my lifelong training in Indian classical dance and the elements this has instilled in my current practice of ethnography. In dance, we are trained to keenly observe every physical and emotional nuance of an item. Furthermore, we are taught symbolism and theory to deepen our interpretation of dance. This dance foundation has shaped my connection to every aspect of ethnography: from practice to analysis to presentation.
Vyjayanthi Vadrevu is the founding ethnographer/strategist of Rasa.nyc. She leads research on projects ranging from social impact design to corporate technology innovation. Vyjayanthi is a trained Bharatantyam and Odissi dancer and uses movement and choreography to connect to the deepest parts of the human experience. email@example.com
2017 EPIC Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918, epicpeople.org/intelligences
Dana Sherwood is a New York–based artist whose work lies on the border of the domestic and the wild. Exposing the fact that nature exists everywhere, and highlighting multispecies interaction while forging new pathways of communication, Sherwood’s work underscores the blurring of boundaries between human and animal and the spaces we collectively inhabit.
With Lévi-Strauss as a muse, Sherwood’s interest in domestication and the design of nature through human interference and consumption is brought to the fore. The theme of “the manipulation of nature” is intrinsic to her work and food is a central metaphor as she examines and tames through elaborate creations of flour, sugar and eggs—sculptural displays modeled on 19th century though 1960s traditions, from Vanitas painting to Betty Crocker. The complexity of interpretation lies in the use of non-traditional materials and unconventional methodologies, which usually involve baroque confectionery and interventions by animals.
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