I did a mini-residency at RMIT University in Melbourne a few weeks ago. The generous folks of the Digital Ethnography Research Center invited me to give a talk + workshop on my research related to digital ethnography. I wrote up this description of my talk + workshop entitled “Digital Ethnography Design Workshop”:
How do ethnographers engage with the changing form of culture as it becomes increasingly mediated by digital technology? This workshop explores emerging digital methods for collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and narrativizing ethnographic materials. In the first hour, I will introduce the utility of digital tools and computational approaches – including webscraping, mapping, and visualization – for ethnographic inquiries. Drawing empirical examples from my research on Asian American musicians’ digital diaspora, the street music-culture in Taiwan, and my research/design work with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, I will discuss the affordances (and limitations) of the digital extensions of participant-observation. The second hour of the workshop will be a speculative research design lab in which we collectively explore touch points with the digital in the participants’ own research processes and come up with potential research designs.
I introduced some of my new research ideas related to touchpoint, a pivotal point that allows the researcher to theorize and design research methods to interrogate the digital-analog interfacing in contemporary social life. The touchpoint concept is built on Fabian Girardin’s work on friction. Presentation documentation: slides; annotated slides.
The workshop portion of the event provided an interactive co-exploration of digital-analog touchpoints in the participants’ own research projects. The flow of the workshop is guided by questions on this handout.
Additionally, I gave a talk titled “Performing research / researching performance? A multimodal approach to knowledge and creative production” to a group of music industry students. In this talk, I examined the creative intersection between ethnographic research, performance, and arts organizing.