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Ethnographic Experiments with Artists, Designers and Boundary Objects

Exhibiting the Field

A lively investigation into ethnographic practice.
Richly illustrated, Ethnographic Experiments with Artists, Designers and Boundary Objects reflects on the experimental skills and practices shared by ethnographers and curators. Francisco Martínez highlights relationships between contemporary art, design, and anthropology and imagines creative ways to develop new infrastructure that supports vital interdisciplinary work. Attentive to the experimental nature of exhibitions, Martínez models a new approach to both ethnography and objecthood across disciplinary boundaries.

224 pages | 57 color plates | 6 x 9 1/4

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology


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“With great verve, this wonderfully enjoyable book takes a fresh, insightful look at creative collaborations between anthropologists, artists and designers. It explores how these kinds of partnerships take shape and dynamically generate new knowledge. The book includes an important and fascinating examination of the potential of the exhibition as methodological device. It will be invaluable reading for anyone interested in museums, art, anthropology and their innovative intersections.”

Sandra Dudley, University of Leicester

“Martínez has put together no less than a must-read treatise on ‘collaboratology’ where art spaces joyfully turn into a laboratory to experiment with the manifold contours anthropological practice might take. In the situations here recounted, epistemic generosity becomes a guiding research principle. One enabling anthropologists to relearn their craft from curators, inviting designers and artists to act as epistemic partners, and turning objects into springboards of stories and further relations. This book is a marvellous tour-de-force that will surely inspire readers to reconsider fieldwork as a ‘curated’ entity, unfolding in unexpected ways as part experimenting with a wide variety of devices."

Tomás S. Criado, director of the Stadtlabor for multimodal anthropology of Humboldt University

“With Ethnographic Experiments, Martínez has curated scenarios for novel ethnographic relations. His approach to anthropology is capacious and creative, inviting future experiments for doing research differently. His writing easily moves across disciplinary boundaries, generously inviting readers into creative thought and sense processes. More than a meditation on boundary objects, his book is itself one. It transforms academia’s analytical intensities into thought-felt matters of concern.”

Jason Pine, State University of New York

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements List of figures 1. Epistemic generosity 2. Putting objects to work 3. Collaboratology 4. Master insights 5. A laboratory of objects 6. Permeable museums 7. Curating anthropological research References Index

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