Accepted Paper:

Making Scenes: The return of Interaction in anthropology and art  


Susan Ossman (University of California, Riverside)

Paper short abstract:

I address the (re)turn to interactivity in art and anthropology with reference to my work as a "site designer" for "The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop", a collective of serial migrant artist scholars I direct that develops exhibitions, performances and interventions in changing locations.

Paper long abstract:

While the possibilities opened by making ethnography a meeting ground for artists and anthropologists has been widely debated and put into practice, the current (re)turn toward interactive approaches in art and what it means for materiality and representation bears further discussion. I addresses this topic with reference to my work as a "site designer" for the "The Moving Matters Traveling Workshop" (MMTW), a collective of serial migrant artists that develops exhibitions, performances, participatory interventions in changing locations. I contrast this fieldwork design and its results with other art/anthropology projects I have designed, showing the overlap of art/anthropological approaches to shaping sites and the ones I've adopted for the MMTW and other art/anthropology projects. I then examine the way that objects, materials and notions of site specificity are reworked by the interventions of the collective, particularly with regard to how art objects and performative sequences connect the changing countries and venues the MMTW serially inhabits. I follow how "materiality" and "representation" are altered by this movement, how these changes feeds into the multi-modal work of the collective and the broader project of studying of social and political life as choreographic

Panel P019
Art (and anthropology) beyond materiality and representation