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Choreographing memory and movement: Drawing and printmaking as Multimodal methods of analysis in Coppersmithing
(El Colegio de Michoacán)
Paper short abstract:
This talk discuses multimodal analytical methods applied in my longterm apprenticeship-ethnography with the Mexican coppersmiths of Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacán. I reflect on how creating drawings and mono-prints stimulated the haptic memory required for choreographic analysis of smithing.
Paper long abstract:
This talk discusses the multimodal analytical methods incorporated into my longterm apprenticeship-ethnography with the Mexican coppersmiths of Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacán. To study coppersmithing diverse performative methods were employed to augment my observant-participation as an artisan-apprentice. Craft observation is a mimetic practice that engages multiple-tiered observation(s) of smithing performance(s) as a participant within the family forge. This also included observing demonstrations for tourists and officials in museums, social and marketing events, such as craft fairs. Training encompassed carefully watching the performance of my primary teachers— my mentor-master and his sons. But, this also included self-observation: watching my body's movements and posture by watching the bodies of others. Normally one cannot move and observe oneself moving at-the-same-time. But, bodily training requires entangling the choreographies of movements to disentangle, re-orchestrate and finally re-attune one's movements. Bodily-knowing is social and involves composites of observation. To understand the effective hammer stroke I mapped these movements through multiple processes. I watched myself perform through the critique of others, as well as carefully observed the changing copper material and evolving object in-formation. Analysis also entailed processes undertaken post-fieldwork, such as producing and reviewing visual archives, photographs, videos, drawings and mono-prints. This talk reflects particularly on how creating drawings and mono-prints can stimulate haptic memory. These methods were used for choreographic analysis of a photograph documenting my master-mentor's dramatic dance-like rhythmic movements when wielding a sledgehammer in collective smithing with his sons.
Languages of entanglement: mapping the ethnographic modes and media