Accepted Paper:

The visual, the verbal and the senses in researching Anir ritual and art (New Ireland, Papua New Guinea)  
Antje Denner (National Museums Scotland)

Paper short abstract:

Through exploring the use of audio-visual recordings in researching ritual and artistic practices in Melanesia, this paper highlights their significance in the production of knowledge that links anthropological, aesthetic and art historical concerns and approaches.

Paper long abstract:

Producing photos, videos and audio recordings of ceremonial acts, dances and masked performances formed a major part of my research into the ritual system of the people of Anir, and the diverse forms of artistic expression it encompasses. Using selected examples, I will focus on the significance that audio-visual recordings had in the process of disentangling and understanding the relationship between ritual and aesthetic practices. This will include the exploration of several interconnected aspects and questions: Firstly, how audio-visual recordings became one of the most effective tools in my research kit. Secondly, how audio-visual recordings hooked up with verbal forms of exchange, that is, dialogues and interviews I conducted with individuals and groups. And, thirdly, how, in combination, visual and verbal processes led to shared, collaborative sense-making between the researcher (myself) and research-subjects (Anir islanders) to produce new insights into ritual structure and practice, on the one hand, and perception, aesthetic experience and the relationship between the visual and the verbal, on the other. Thus the presentation traces the way in which the processing of audio-visual elements of culture (images and performances) involved the use of audio-visual methods and techniques, which then led to the production of audio-visual artefacts (the recordings). These, in turn, became the basis for the exchange and production of knowledge and insights that linked anthropological, aesthetic and art historical approaches and concerns.

Panel P007
Producing and transmitting knowledge audio- and/or visually [VANEASA]