Salon 2018: OPTICS

The Ethnography Studio hosted its third-annual Ethnographic Salon on March 2nd, 2018, celebrating ethnographic thinking with food, drink, student silent films, and an engaging roundtable discussion with our three guest scholars.

The evening started with Kristina Lyons (UC Santa Cruz), Dana Powell (Appalachian State University), and Joe Masco (University of Chicago) joining Andrea Ballestero for a roundtable on “optics” in and of ethnography. Our guests discussed the strengths of ethnography for explaining visual and sensorial modes of being, recounting optical illusions and perceptual challenges in their own work, and offering up approaches to render an ethnographic moment optical or visual into text.

Everyone then enjoyed a screening of seven student silent films of one to three minutes in length, each exploring objects or methods of optics in diverse ways. This collection of silent films can be viewed here and is also below. Students were creative in utilizing film as a tool that affords new ethnographic openings, differently orienting ethnographic moments and questions as well as showcasing optical illusions in their own field sites.

The evening ended with more food and drink and music. Make sure to join us next year, and look out for the call for participants early 2019!

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