HUMAN & NON-HUMAN BIOGRAPHIES USING ANALOG & DIGITAL MEDIUMS FOR THE PURPOSES OF CULTURAL PRESERVATION WHICH COMES IN MANY FORMS INCLUDING ARTWORK, ARCHIVES, HUMAN MEMORIES.
A PRESENTATION FOR THE ROSS SCHOOL. FIELD ACADEMY. ARTISTS' STUDIOS
A bit about me, some definitions, research journey.
Me (00:55 to 05:20)
PhD (07:00 to 09:20)
Why (21:00 to 25:00)
Human, Non-human and semi-human portraits.
TEXT ETHNOGRAPHY. 2009.
M.Sc. Social Anthropology. London, 2010.
Ethnography is a branch of anthropology and the systematic study of individual cultures. Ethnography explores cultural phenomena from the point of view of the subject of the study. As a form of inquiry, ethnography relies heavily on participant observation—on the researcher participating in the setting or with the people being studied, at least in some marginal role, and seeking to document, in detail, patterns of social interaction and the perspectives of participants, and to understand these in their local contexts. It had its origin in social and cultural anthropology in the early 1900’s.
Abstract [Sentence 1]. The female shamanic practitioner is one of exceptional liminality in that she is often both physically and socially barren, a gender liminal and socially excluded actor in her society.
Patagonia, Chile (Region IX), 2010.
VISUAL ETHNOGRAPHY. 2011.
Australian National University. Non-human kinship.
This was the first time I attempted to use a videocamera as a grad student in 2011. It is a 10-minute portrait project assignment in Visual Anthropology course at Australian National University. It is an ethnographic portrayal of P. Maxwell Ward (my brother) and his violin. For this video project, I initially had planned to do a portrait of my brother -- a displaced American soul in the tumultuous depths of Canberra, Australia. I felt that this would be an interesting ethnography, as Max has very specific interests and very strong view points that don't always necessarily resonate with his Australian peers. He is passionate, obsessive in all fairness, about playing the violin, which he plays in an old-time Appalachian style. I feel that I have come to know Max for the first time, and have found that Max's music defines his very nature, interactions, and expression of himself as a human being. In other words, I have come to know the violin almost more than Max himself. The incessant playing begins at 8 in the morning and generally ceases long past midnight. I have come to know this instrument in an almost personal, contested manner as a constant presence in my life. In many ways, I have given anthropomorphic qualities to this beastly instrument, itself becoming incarnated with a life of its own. Max has admitted time and time again that he feels possessed by this instrument and that they "don't call it the devil's instrument for nothing." Thus, for this project, I would like to do a portrait of the violin itself, the ways it possesses Max and the manner in which it foisted itself into our lives, for better or worse. [OBJECT OBSESSION, NON-HUMAN KINSHIP]