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Adam Rakestraw


                                        Designing Research: Reading Response Week 2 

Soyini Madison; Critical Ethnography Ch 1

Nestor Garcia Canclini; Art Beyond Itself Ch 1

In Madison; Critical Ethnography Chapter 1, the author starts the text concerning her personal experience in ethnographic fieldwork over human right activist and developments in Ghana. Her reflection became of viewing indie film of pseudo-reaction to modern day Africa. The documentary in questions was of a “filmmaker” emphasis the role of, “backwards Africa” in relation to Western Society. This display perpetuates the ignorance in the Western wold as Africa; the tribal, underdeveloped, and human-rights abuser. The context in particular was tribal culture handling of FGM, or Female Genital Mutation. The authors main perspective is the public access to misleading information by documentary communication, this includes ethnographic work. The metaphorical introduction is juxtaposed to the questioning of ethics and morality in ethnographic work. The morale dilemma into documenting field is advocating for a more, “pristine” version of academic communicating or even in the public domain. Guidance of pristine, meaning of understanding and subjecting our own personal experience to exist outside the realm of the researcher role. Madison addressed this as, “Resisting domestication in ethnography,” as in misleading what should be non-biases work interwoven with personhood. The lens of ethnography is primarily through the observer role inherently, “not subjectively inserting privilege or cultural up bring in qualitative data and academia” Madison, pp. 7.

Therefore the ethnography should consider role of “critique,” in their work. To answer Madison’s question, “How do we represent others and their worlds for just purpose,” we have to understand the nature of critique. Critique being of acknowledging our own privilege and purpose in relation to the work, defining ones own power with the work; especially for the ability to denounce power, and not to “wash” data in inserting personal preference or using data to articulate misleading information. My personal reliability to the piece is my experience with ethnographic work. My anthropology bachelor required a semester long course in the examination and practice of ethnography. In my particular piece I had to separate my state of secular academic and into an immersive role at a hometown church. My role strictly had to be defined as two associated values, “participant – observer.” My tone to the work had to be that as a “full immersed participant” rather than of exemplifying my contrasting beliefs to this particular power structure and religious advocates.

Nestor Garcia Canclini; Art Beyond Itself Ch 1

In Nestor Garcia Canclini; Art Beyond Itself Ch 1: the author is in examination of the historical context of the 20th century avant gande movements. The emphasis being the the concept of

experimentation” over “representation,” in the transition of art movement. Considering the transition of modern art process to post-modern. The focus now being of the idea of social engagement as the predominate factor of process over values of Modern; shock, erratic, reflective, etc. This frame is being shaped by the European model vs US model of public funding artworks. The citation to the Bourdieu and Haacke argument over governments concerning more regulation with less funding. The outdate from being of private patronage in the neoliberalism sphere as museums, galleries, operating as independent individual actors.  This is contrasted to states role as public funders and the notion of community funding into the arts. The MET becomes the an intertwined example both of private and public funding. Knowing the MET; the museum operates over several sources of funding; state-subsides, private patronage, and public donation upon entering. This comes as the cost of understanding the “difference between philosophical aesthetics and social science-based theories,” as in what is “art,” how should it be framed in the 21st century. The publicly-funded museum being the outdated model of present artworks. Collaboration being the prevailing thought based out of social-science theory as “art”.   The third perspective Canclini gives is the anthropological view of the role of an artist, themselves. This giving way to the ethnographic approach to the study of the role of artist. The summary of this being the, “collapsing of autonomy.” In summary, all these connections lead to an ethnographic approach of cross disciplinary, intermedia, and globalized turn to research.