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Accepted Paper:

A shift of attention?  
Daniel Barroca (University of Florida)

Paper short abstract:

If there is one thing that art and ethnography have in common, is that both are concerned with observation. Discussing that commonality necessarily implies to distinguish forms, or levels, of attention. I will discuss how art and ethnography have been forging overlapping forms of attention.

Paper long abstract:

For many visual artists their work constitutes an assemblage of affects, and situations, that they observe, and then elaborate, almost as ethnographers (ex. Henri Michaux). How does it happen? Does the knowledge emerging from such approaches is of any relevance for ethnography whatsoever? For some ethnographers to approach the 'field' means to equip themselves with the tools usually seen as of artists so to sharpen their capacity of seizing what they consider to escape traditional ways of doing ethnography (ex. Michael Taussig, Ruy Duarte de Carvalho). As a person with a trajectory from visual arts to anthropology, I see an overlap between these two realms of observation that (and following Tim Ingold's considerations on attention) I consider worth to discuss in terms of what might be an ethnographic attention. Going into the 'field' requires a fine-tuning of the senses, a perceptive shift, a particular form of attention, quite heterogeneous, composed of many levels of sensorial awareness. Is the 'filed' that defines the attention or the other way around? Are we in the 'field' whenever that shift occurs? My proposal is to, from specific examples across the history of art and ethnography, identify the boundaries, or the threshold, where that perceptive shift occurs and how can it be formulated in terms of what needs to happen for it to occur and what does it entail.

Panel P076
Hybridity Between the Practice of Art and Ethnography
  Session 1 Sunday 3 June, 2018, -