Momentary dwellers: experimental art-ethnography collaborations and sensory research
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
Based on more than three years of fieldwork, this paper investigates experimental art-ethnography collaborations with a refugee theatre project and the creation of relational, sensory, and site-specific art installations in abandoned post-industrial housing sites.
Paper long abstract:
This paper reflects on the ethical, political, and social implications of an art-ethnography collaboration conducted with a refugee theatre project in and on abandoned migrant housing complexes in the postindustrial German Ruhr valley. Based on more than three years of fieldwork, it critically outlines on some of the ways in which I have been experimenting with this project on creating experience-based sensory and site-specific installations in former refugee camps and dwelling spaces. Through its research-based art interventions that revolve around creating encounters with and sensory archives for audiences and residents of a Ruhr valley city, the project and its participants became momentary dwellers in a form of 'micro-utopia' (see Blanes, Flynn, Maskens, Tinius 2016). The integration of anthropological fieldwork with sensory-focused relational art projects did not only create new research horizons and affective relations with migrant and non-migrant city-residents, but also possibilities for new forms of ethico-political interventions and speculative heritage futures.
Experimenting with methods in critical affective research