Conference Workshops

Developing ideas with other visual sociologists

As always, the IVSA conference has a number of workshops you can participate in. These sessions allow for more intensive interaction and developing your practical skills. These sessions are free and are arranged via email to the session facilitators.

Crafting the character

Editing and the politics of personhood in image-based social science research

Image-based social science research is often fuelled by an alleged intention of giving voice to hitherto voiceless people. But as ‘untold stories’ gain material expression as ‘storylines’, we are urged to consider the implications of the passage from ‘person’ to ‘character’. How does the border-crossing into pictorial territory transform the represented? This workshop aims at exploring some of the intricate dilemmas inherent to the endeavour of portraying people…

Image-based social science research is often fueled by an alleged intention of giving voice to hitherto voiceless people. But as ‘untold stories’ gain material expression as ‘storylines’, we are urged to consider the implications of the passage from ‘person’ to ‘character’. How does the border-crossing into pictorial territory transform the represented? This workshop aims at exploring some of the intricate dilemmas inherent to the endeavour of portraying people from the perspective of the editing room. The workshop is composed of two sections: during its first third, participants will be presented to the fundamentals of professional editing process and to a reflection about its particularities in academic settings, as well as to a theoretical starting point from which to consider matters of personhood and representation. Towards the end, participants will be introduced to a decision-making-based editing framework that is specifically designed to address key challenges of representing people. In addition to building a common vocabulary and the necessary theoretical grounding, this first stage will comprise the screening of multiple audiovisual examples – the majority of which derived from the lecturer’s own work -, as well as the discussion of real-life editing room situations. Following this section, participants will be invited to present their own audiovisual material – from snippets of raw footage, to work-in-progress scenes and sequences, to finalised assets – and engage the group in a discussion about representational challenges they faced or anticipate facing in the editing process. For their presentations, participants are encouraged to ‘open the black-box’ of their editing processes, either by exploring in depth one particular moment, character, or dilemma, or by offering a broad account of the challenges facing their editing process experience. Alternatively, participants may choose to explore an edited piece (e.g. a film, a sequence, or a scene) and analyse how its characters emerge from an editing style or from particular editing decisions*. It is suggested that all participants lead a brief debate following their presentations. *: Note that this will be the only presentation format accepted of participants without own material.

Number of sessions: 3
Material needed: None
Registrations sent to: Pedro Afonso Branco Ramos Pinto
Registration deadline: None

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Peek at the Past

Glass Plate Negatives from the Marché aux Puces in Paris

Family portraits. Tree-lined roads. Boats on lakes. Fountains, city crowds. A dirigible and field. Horse-drawn carriages. These are just some of the images I have collected in my serendipitous discoveries of glass plate negatives at various marchées aux puces (Paris flea markets). I am not a professional collector nor antiques dealer; rather, I am a frugal traveler with a curiosity for these vintage negatives.

Family portraits. Tree-lined roads. Boats on lakes. Fountains, city crowds. A dirigible and field. Horse-drawn carriages. These are just some of the images I have collected in my serendipitous discoveries of glass plate negatives at various marchées aux puces (Paris flea markets). I am not a professional collector nor antiques dealer; rather, I am a frugal traveler with a curiosity for these vintage negatives. During undergraduate studies in photography (1990s), I made my first purchase of a box labeled 1902 that held 10 glimpses of the past, as captured on peeling, chipped, or foggy, 9x12cm gelatin silver bromide glass plates. I knew about glass negatives and I had access to a darkroom to make contact prints with the negatives, but I had no intention of becoming a collector. On a subsequent trip to Paris, an old postcard dealer, tired of keeping the heavy fragile glass plates, gifted me multiple boxes. I returned to the U.S. with boxes in my carry-on and a passion for these elusive glass plate negatives, which only consistently appear in the Paris flea markets. Sometimes sold individually– no date, city, or context, I looked for clues within the image. What can a few images evoke’ Reveal’ Let’s explore the markets and images together. On Sunday (pre-conference) I will offer language/purchase guidance at the market. Later, during the visual inquiry workshop, participants will collaboratively investigate the found images (negatives). Those interested in documenting images and co-constructing narratives about the experience can continue contact for potential co-authoring post-conference.The visit to the market is optional and not a pre-requisite for the workshop. Meet-up: McDonald’s located next to the Metro stop Porte de Clignancourt at 8am on Sunday.

Number of sessions: 1
Material needed: None
Registrations sent to: Julie Dell-Jones
Registration deadline: None

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Making Ethnographic Videos

This two-session workshop will prepare participants to conceive, produce, and edit their own ethnographic digital videos (‘ethnografilms’). The workshop presumes no video production competency on the part of participants and begins on the assumption of limited access to production and editing resources.

This two-session workshop will prepare participants to conceive, produce, and edit their own ethnographic digital videos (‘ethnografilms’). The workshop presumes no video production competency on the part of participants and begins on the assumption of limited access to production and editing resources. Workshop activities will involve accessible everyday equipment, including cell phone cameras, inexpensive digital audio recording devices, available lighting, and free video editing software. In the first part of the workshop session the presenters will provide a basic and practical overview of digital video storytelling approaches and techniques and examine the core principles of video ethnographic practice. Participants will share their own experiences with video-making and identify ways in which they would like to use video in their future ethnographic enterprises. The second session will entail a dialectical, hands-on modality, wherein the facilitators will guide each participant through the process of developing, producing, and editing his/her own short ethnografilm using the participant’s cell phone cameras and editing freeware. Each of the two workshop sessions will last two hours. Workshop attendance is limited to 15 participants.

Number of sessions: 2
Material needed: Laptop
Registrations sent to: Molly Merryman, Greg Scott
Registration deadline: None

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Counter-Practices of Seeing

Using the Eyes to Mobilize the Political Body

More often than not, our seeing practices ask us to remain still, taking it in. This is the optical apparatus of the classroom, billboard, car, TV, laptop, and so on. Largely, we merely move between these stations. These are the coordinates of the modern visual landscape afforded us’a politics of constrained visual consumption.

More often than not, our seeing practices ask us to remain still, taking it in. This is the optical apparatus of the classroom, billboard, car, TV, laptop, and so on. Largely, we merely move between these stations. These are the coordinates of the modern visual landscape afforded us’a politics of constrained visual consumption. To engage differently requires not just developing a more refined critical eye, but ways of seeing and moving that can rework and refashion the optical apparatus themselves. This entails developing counterpractices that draw our eyes off of the vectors that pin us, and into new lines of action.

This workshop will foreground what lies dormant today: the deep biological coordination between looking and movement. We will draw on the theoretical work of Maxine Sheets Johnstone on the relationship between the gaze and embodied power relations. Utilizing the Feldenkrais Method of movement learning, we will unleash more dynamic use of the eyes, coordinated with smooth reorientation of our body. Through movement and sensory practices looking will become coordinated with action.

Number of sessions: 1
Material needed: None
Registrations sent to: Christopher Moffett
Registration deadline: None

  Register for workshop


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