I really enjoyed Petes talk, our discussions and the reading. What follows are
some thoughts on bits and pieces I especially resonated with in connection
to ethnography and the digital.
Within the key principles of ethnography, as laid out by Pink et al.
(2016), what struck me was a sense of finding and applying tactics for
trying to grasp some thing as enormous, obscure and diffuse as a (digital)
reality. Their approach (as I understand it, with a risk of me projecting
my own thoughts) makes complete sense: be open, be humble, engage with the
world in as many ways and from as many sides as possible, try not to have
fixed or predetermined ideas about who you you meet and what you are
confronted with (especially not ideas that are not your own), let things
and people present them selves. And look sideways and behind what is right
in front of you. In general, pay attention and don’t force or be forced.
For me this echos with much of what Pete communicated, and not only as
direct references but in their approach to the work. The intentional
making and practicing of diverse models and approaches. What I found
especially inspirational was the way of following streams of ideas and
concepts to wherever they lead to see what they are and what follows, what
they say about them selves and each other. Also how, when and where they
connect. Or perhaps what or how they build and create?
A word that was used which describes a way of working that I feel is
relevant was ‘hyperlink’. I believe that is an important word even though
it perhaps come with a lot of cultural(cybernetic?) baggage. An other
concept was ‘portals’, a notion that has so many various meanings and
uses. All of them important. And the same goes for the “maze”. I think
they might be alluding to an approach, or tactics to making research in
general. One thing lead to another. Why? that is perhaps not the important
question to ask before or under the ongoing engagement with a subject, in
the end it will make sense. Perhaps not in the way one thought, or would
like to think. But I guess it is a matter of trust.
The translation and the application of methods across areas where some
thing I took with me from the workshop. As an example I think of how Pete
consciously integrated their architectural background and applied concepts
of for example scale, space and physicality through out their work.
I think part of that what I might be trying to phrase is some kind of
tapping into a current, or currents. A way to explore things and places
where separation and distinction become counterproductive, and so does
trying to force things into a single per-determined narrative. Instead
narratives bleed into each other, they exist with and within each other.
A free-form organic overarching narrative, not in the sense of the
prefabricated universal ones (so I’m probably in need of another word)
seams to be very useful though. Theme does not really work either, but
a functioning parable is perhaps a vessel (probably this kind of living
organic spaceships with a consciousness of their own), a mode of
transportation with windows through which you can see and experience. To
neither throw your self out into the void (and be set with the impossible
task of describing the indescribable), nor be encapsulated inside of
a fixed station with a single view, catching glimpses of things moving
outside (which might be making it difficult to see their trajectories and
relations). This probably make no sense at all. Any ways.
I perceive a lot of this as the gathering of knowledge and understanding
through engagement and conversation in the wider sense. Inspiring stuff.
Sorry for the non-sense writing of this text.
//Jakob Jennerholm Hammar