This is our panel for the DISTRIBUTE 2020. Check back later for specifics about the VAOJ contribution…


Taylor R. Genovese (Arizona State University)
Can Tamura (Filmmaker)

Panel Abstract

This panel explores historical, social, and cultural memory as distributed phenomena in the context of performance. We envision performance taking several ethnographic modes (with the caveat that these modes are not an exhaustive list): the practice of ethnography as being inherently dramaturgical and performative (Denzin 2003); the ways in which our research participants may perform in the presence of a researcher; the embodied, performative use of multimodal tools, such as the taking of photos, the recording of video, and the sharing of digital media; performance as a way of disseminating ethnographic data, whether that be through photographs, films, dance, theatre, music, soundscapes, etc.; and performance as a theoretical stance—a hacking of the Aristotelian notion of “phronesis,” an applied, active wisdom that is set apart from analytical knowledge (episteme) and technical knowledge (techne) by taking seriously the social and the political (Flyvbjerg 2001). This panel hopes to raise important questions such as: what kind of shifts in positionality may take place when one takes seriously the distribution of one’s ethnographic and personal performative practices, whatever they may be? How does performance become a means of distributing collective forms of memory? In what ways can multimodality be deployed within the discussion of performance, memory, and distribution?

Additionally, this panel is interested in how one’s ancillary performative practices (i.e. hobbies or external artistic endeavors) can generate new openings within one’s ethnographic research. We are attentive to the ways in which performance can break down contrived divisions between “serious scholarship” and creative pursuits; for example, if a phronetic approach to ethnography is deployed, how might it disrupt the established positivist, Western conception of what scholarship, learning, knowledge, …continue reading