juxtapositional logics


T]he mechanism of collage can serve as a helpful paradigm…. The cuts and sutures of the research process are left visible; there is no smoothing over or blending of the work’s raw “data” into a homogeneous representation. To write ethnographies on the model of collage would be to avoid the portrayal of cultures as organic wholes, or as unified…worlds subject to a continuous explanatory discourse…The ethnography as collage would leave manifest the constructivist procedures of ethnographic knowledge; it would be an assemblage containing voices other than the ethnographer’s, as well as examples of “found” evidence, data not fully integrated within the work’s governing interpretation.

James Clifford, “On Ethnographic Surrealism,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 23:4(1981):539-564.

Identification, equation, integration, and synthesis are some of the primary modes of analysis in the natural and social sciences, and in cultural anthropology as well. Drawing on the rich history of interactions between the surrealist movement in art and cultural anthropology in France, ethnographers began in the 1980s to experiment with alternative modes of analysis and presentation more oriented around difference, comparison, collage and juxtaposition. PECE’s design structure seeks to leverage difference—different artifacts and data, different annotations from different researchers, different explanatory paradigms—into insight, through a variety of display mechanisms. New understandings of an event like the Fukushima disaster, for example, are generated not through its conformity with items in a Chernobyl data set, but by foregrounding through juxtaposition their differences on multiple registers, across scales. In terms used by philosopher Gilles Deleuze, PECE works through a logic of the “AND” (exemplified by Spinoza) rather than a logic of the “IS” (exemplified by Kant and Hegel).


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Contributed date

July 8, 2024 - 12:42pm

Critical Commentary

juxtapositional logics

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Anonymous, "juxtapositional logics", contributed by Mike Fortun, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 8 July 2024, accessed 23 July 2024. http://www.worldpece.org/content/juxtapositional-logics