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Accepted paper:

Detangling the different media mobilities in multimodal research


Alexa Färber (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

Multimodal research is to different degrees mobile. Detangling the different media involved and examining their specific realms helps to identify their agencies and analyze the power relations evoked by this unequal mobility. This is especially important in interdisciplinary team-based projects.

Paper long abstract:

Media formats are to different degrees mobile in the sense of their representational realm: an exhibition is experienced 'sur place' while a film may be projected at different places; both may be documented on a website, but they loose their site-specific aesthetic power. This specific mobility of media bears implications for collaboration in interdisciplinary teams and the ways of making multimodal work public. I propose analyzing a recent experience of multimodal research and its restitution that I am part of. "Re-prises" (2018-) has been an experimental short termed research conducted by a group of colleagues who work together since 10 years as a multidisciplinary network of ethnographers, sociologist, anthropologists, photographers and filmmakers ("Penser l'urbain par l'image"/PUI). In a one week workshop we collected, classified, reproduced and filmed photographs that were taken by students of a photo-school in a French city. We invented a public archive in form of an exhibition and filmscreening, both presented at place at the end of the week. Today a webdoc that documents this experiment is on its way to go online and a research module generated from the one week project is being adapted to different places. I propose to discuss the entanglement of each medium involved in the research and shed light on the power relations evoked by the unequal mobility of multimodal work. In order to enable collaboration it is helpful to analytically detangle the media involved and examine their specific realm so that their agencies can be grasped from the beginning.

panel P039
Languages of entanglement: mapping the ethnographic modes and media