1000 – 1800
16 December, 2016
PSH 302, Goldsmiths University of London

The aim of this workshop is to bring together and evaluate critically the use of smartphones in ethnographic research. We ask, what are the particular affordances of smartphones and in what ways might they extend particular sorts of ethnographic practice? To what extent do smartphones supplement and/or supplant pencil and paper, pc and laptop, digital voice recorder and camera, what is the significance of the latter for fieldnotes and writing and how might this shift in recording devices enable and shape new forms of ethnographic engagement? Do smartphones enable a further democratisation of ethnography or do they take us further away from and displace participant observation as an embodied practice of dwelling and reflexively engaged encounter? Do the possibilities of ‘real time’ methods that potentially reorder the temporal relation between data production, analysis and dissemination necessarily engender presentist perspectives that mirror the space time compression of creative capitalism or might it open up new forms of public historical engagement? How might the dualities of this simultaneously most intimate and most public form of communicative and data generating device provoke and unsettle some of the ethical complacencies about anonymity and consent in an age of hyper surveillance?