an influx of anthropology

In Edinburgh, Interesting things on May 29, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I’ve almost-definitely been persuaded into going to Factish Field in June (all the talks and stuff sound lovely, the workshops…not so much, but who knows). And when in doubt what do you do? Go to the library, yes…hence the sudden influx of anthropology books. And the realisation that anthropology and intermedia are really really similar (alright, it was slightly pointed out, but didn’t register straight away, that’s not the point). Which is nice. I’ve abandoned all other books in favour of these ones. Even meant going to a different bit of the main library (shock horror). More tangents to go off on though, which is always good.

Consisting of a series of in conversation events, talks, workshop sessions, fieldwork, artists’ presentations and film screenings, the Summer School is a unique opportunity to be part of a small, dynamic group with unparalleled access to leading artists and thinkers in these fields.

Factish Field takes as its starting point the French anthropologist Bruno Latour’s concept of the ‘factish’, a combination of fact and fetish as a way of thinking about the relationship between facts and beliefs. Latour argues that there are no facts separable from their fabrication and suggests that fetishes, objects invested with mythical powers, are fabricated, and that “facts” are not.

Throughout the week, both artists and anthropologists will be paired for a series of in conversation events, and workshops will subsequently be developed in which the group will consider some of the ‘big’ questions surrounding both anthropological and art practice, and where they intersect. Topics include:

Context – where does it play out? In the field, studio, gallery, academia?

Fieldwork – how can artists and anthropologists share research methodologies?

Making – where are the links between theory and practice?

Public – who is the audience? And how is it distributed?

Ethics – who makes the rules and how are they imposed or regulated? Is it important that they are?

Nothing else really, except drawing whilst waiting for a tumble dryer to become free. I timed it very badly, and waited absolutely ages for one (not helped by the fact that someone decided to tumble dry their stuff twice – really?! almost two hours to dry stuff?!).






Been a bit quiet for interesting story things from the shop, so only a few.

Manager-guy leaves to look at a shop on Leith Walk (might have to move), rings up half an hour later.

“…is there some fish in the kitchen? Trout.”

“Ehm I’ll go look.”

It’d been left behind. There was a freezer bag of two or three trout (not like I looked very carefully) sat on a chair in the hall. The freezer door was left open. I have to put it in the freezer, which involves putting the bag in on its side, so I have to support dead fish with one hand. Eugh, not nice.


The till was running out of coppers, I ask someone to use up as many of theirs as they want. They’re surprised, and seem to think I’m being sarcastic. I wasn’t. He was quite pleased though.


Someone buys a painting. He hasn’t been to Edinburgh for years, he did a PhD in Geography here I-don’t-know-how-long-ago. He asks what I do. He tells me all the galleries they went to this morning.


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