Accepted paper:

Trajectories: Gathering digital/visual data on the move.

Author:

Edgar Gómez (RMIT University)

Paper short abstract:

This article presents the working-concept of “Trajectory”. A trajectory is understood not only as a trace of movement on a path but a reflection on the possibilities of visual/digital/mobile data recollection for ethnographic research. Two examples of ethnographic fieldworks are presented

Paper long abstract:

This article presents an outline of the working-concept: "Trajectory". A trajectory is not understood only as a trace of movement on a path but a reflection on the possibilities of visual/digital/mobile data recollection for ethnographic research. Current approaches to ethnographic fieldwork in urban settings are increasingly using digital technologies to gather visual data. But more importantly, those technologies could also grasp the mobility and fluidity of social life. Using smartphones that combine camera features, GPS systems and different apps to store and organize data, interesting possibilities could be opened.

The concept of Trajectory looks to grasp these elements in a single theoretical standpoint. It is intended to establish a dialogue with the flâneur in De Certeau's and Benjamin's work and with some current approaches to visual/digital ethnography, especially those related to movement and senses (i.e. Sarah Pink's work). At the same time, it looks to account for the material infrastructures where many social interactions take place. The paper will present two ethnographic fieldworks as examples of the use of the concept; one about supermarket trolleys in Barcelona, and one on Urban Screen in multiple settings. Ultimately, the paper intents to be the beginning of a dialogue about the use of the concept Trajectories in ethnographic research.

panel P03
Relational resolutions: The role of digital images in ethnographic fieldwork