Slow Ethnography

Artist-ethnographer Zoe Bray will demonstrate her ethnographic-painting technique over three days while she creates a portrait of Anthropologist Kathleen Stewart at the Blanton Museum of Art. The demonstration will be followed by a round-table discussion of time and duration, as well as uncon- ventional ethnographic tools and texts in ethnography and humanities research. Featuring Zoe Bray (Center for Basque Studies, UNR), Craig Campbell (UT, Anthropology), Ward Keeler (UT, Anthropology), Fiona P. McDonald (Anthropologist/Researcher, New Knowledge Organization, NYC), Sonia Seeman (UT, Ethnomusicology) and Kathleen Stewart (UT, Anthropology).


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Roderick Mikens

Ethnographic-painting demonstration

From 1-4pm in the main atrium of the Blanton Museum of Art, Zoe Bray will be creating a portrait of anthropologist, Katie Stewart.

September 5th – 7th, 2014 1:00-4:00pm
Blanton Museum of Art

Slow Ethnography Roundtable

Monday, Sept. 8th, 2014
5:30pm – 7:00pm
Glickman Center (CLA Building) 1.302B


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Roderick Mikens

compactUT-02Presented by the Intermedia Workshop with support from the Blanton Museum of Art. This event is co-sponsored by the Humanities Institute through the Viola S. Hoffman and George W. Hoffman Lectureship in Liberal Arts and Fine Arts. Also thanks to the department of Anthropology, and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. We are also grateful to the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada Reno for their support.

We recognize the curatorial collective, Ethnographic Terminalia, for their original collaboration with Zoe Bray in September, 2013.


Zoe Bray painting NYU professor Fred Myers. October 2013. American Museum of Natural History, NYC. Photo: Fiona P. McDonald

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Ex-Situ Symposium at UT Austin.

April 9, 2014, 1-5pm
CLA Building 1-302e
Julius Glickman Conference Center

More information: www.metafactory/exsitu

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Home Ground

A sensuous and intellectually compelling project.

‘Home Ground’ is a short anthropological film exploring how two very different, but geographically close, cultures relate to one another within a striking and vast natural landscape. Featuring Siggi the Icelandic sailor and Dines the Greenlandic hunter.

An independent film by James Aiken

Home Ground from James Aiken on Vimeo.

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Borderline Ethnography

tijuanaThe Intermedia Workshop (co-sponsored by Mexic-Arte Museum and Experimental Response Cinema and with support from the Department of Anthropology, the Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies) presents:

Artist and Anthropologist Fiamma Montezemolo.  Fiamma will discuss her work as an ethnographer and as an artist working on the US-Mexico border.  On Sunday, February 16th, she will present her award winning experimental video Traces (along with two other works by Sergio de la Torre). On Monday, February 17th, Fiamma will deliver a lecture in the Department of Anthropology at UT Austin.

All events are free and open to the public.


Photo by Rene Peralta


Sunday, February 16th
Screening: Traces

mam-logoLocation: Mexic-Arte Museum (419 Congress Ave.)
Time: 6:30 pm.
Admission is free

Fiamma Montezemolo in person.
Screening Traces as well as two works by Sergio de la Torre.
Full details below


Monday, February 17th
Lecture: “Borderline Ethnography”

Location: UT Austin SAC Building. Room. 5.118
Time: noon – 1pm

In her presentation, Fiamma Montezemolo will attempt to reflect on the trans-disciplinary and trans-methodological aspects of her work on the US-Mexico border.  She will discuss how her work straddles various registers of the ‘border’ concept and the multiple forms this work has taken over the years.  Montezemolo frames the border in geopolitical terms: with a particular emphasis on her fieldwork experience between Tijuana and San Diego; in cultural and metaphorical terms: with a specific focus on the different modes of representation in, alongside, and beyond the geopolitical border; in assemblage and montage terms, as an interplay of visual and discursive strategies in order to make sense of Tijuana, a city that has been hailed as the laboratory of post-modernity; in aesthetic and formal terms: through her academic writing, experimental ethnographies, and video-installations at the threshold between Art and Anthropology; and finally, in affective terms that explore the potentialities and the limits of the border as a complex structure of feeling.


Full Sunday Program

Traces by Fiamma Montezemolo
20 min / digital / sound / 2013

In this experimental video-essay ethnographic research and art forms combined with and an enigmatic electronic musical motif merge to create a meditation on the border life between the United State & Mexico. Based on both years of ethnographic work in Tijuana and an ascetic shooting schedule of 24hrs, the artist and anthropologist refracts her experience in the region by attempting to sculpt a textured living portrait, a sort of biography, of the Wall that separates Tijuana and San Diego. Images of a rusty wall, unruly topography, decaying surveillance structures, furtive moments of undocumented migrant crossings, and dystopian landscapes are interwoven with a mournful voice-over enunciated from a different time and place.  The fate of the Wall is sealed: its remains are to be collected like forensic evidence by a visitor, perhaps another anthropologist and artist, perhaps another undocumented migrant, from the future.

In addition to Montezemolo’s Traces we will be showing two experimental shorts by by San Diego and Tijuana-based artist Sergio de la Torre.

We The Dust, The Wind by Sergio de la Torre
8 min / digital / sound / 2013
Based on Julio Cortazar’s short story “La Casa Tomada”, the film tells the story of a group of young Chinese immigrants who, for some years, lived in an abandoned building in a defunct public housing block in downtown Tijuana, Mexico.

Nuevo Dragon City by Sergio de la Torre
14 min / digital / sound / 2008
A group of Chinese Mexican teenagers barricade themselves inside an abandoned building in Tijuana, Mexico. As the outside world is closed off and they sit entrapped, their surroundings and actions become a powerful commentary on their own social existence. Nuevo Dragon City has shown in multiple international film festivals such as the 27th San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia. Nuevo Dragon City has also been well received in art venues, such as the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Belgium and the Centro Cultural Tijuana, Mexico.


Born in Rome, Fiamma Montezemolo is both a Cultural Anthropologist (PhD University Orientale of Naples) and an artist (MFA San Francisco Art Institute). She is currently teaching at California College of the Arts. As an established scholar in border and urban studies, she has patiently designed rigorous and long-term ethnographic-artistic interventions at the Tijuana-San Diego border where she has also resided and taught for many years. As an artist she situates her work as a critical extension and overcoming of the ethnographic turn in contemporary art during the 1990s. In addition to ethnography, a research method she also considers an emerging medium for art practices, she works with various media, including installation, cartography, video, digital photography, industrial materials, performance, archival documents. Her art practice straddles various disciplines, sensibilities and methodologies, including social art, anthropology, cultural geography, visual studies.

Among other works, Fiamma Montezemolo is co-editor with Josh Kun of Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border(2012) and co-author of Here is Tijuana (2006).

As an artist and educator, Sergio De La Torre has worked with and documented the manifold ways by which citizens reinvent themselves in the city they inhabit, as well as site-specific strategies they deploy to move ‘in and out modernity’.
De La Torre’s work often invokes collaborations with the subjects and invites both intimate and critical reflections on topics related to housing, immigration and labor, to mention only a few. De La Torre purposely work with individuals from marginalized sectors of the cities he works in, including factory workers (Tijuana), shoeshine boys (Mexico City), undocumented immigrants (Los Angeles and San Francisco), and evicted families (Oakland). In his work De La Torre has tried to approach the lives of these individuals, not as victim-subjects, but have attempted rather to reexamine the meaning of their actions in the context of shifting global conditions.


Still from Nuevo Dragon City by Sergio de la Torre


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The Act of Killing, screening

The intermedia workshop presents the director’s cut of Joshua Oppenheimer’s documentary film The Act of Killing.  The screening of the film will take place at 5:30pm and will be followed by a discussion led by faculty and documentary filmmakers.

This is the first time the director’s cut of The Act of Killing has played in Austin.


Date: 5:30pm on December 2, 2013
Location: College of Communications (CMB) Studio 4D.


Sponsored by the South Asia InstituteDepartment of AnthropologyRadio-Television-FilmHumanities Institute, and the Center for East Asian Studies.

more information about the film:

Other links:

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Lowrider Space

Ben Chappell's new book

Ben Chappell’s new book

UT Austin Anthropology alum, Ben Chappell will present his new book on Sunday, September 1st, 2013 at noon.

Sunday, Sep 1 12:00p

Richard Moya Park
10001 Burleson Rd
Austin, TX 78719

Join author Ben Chappell signing his book ‘Lowrider Space’ with the Austin area lowrider community.

There will be lowriders from all over Texas and surrounding areas. The event is free and open to the public for all ages. Entertainment will include: game booths, food vendors, clothing vendors, DVD vendors, CD vendors, bounce houses for the kids, horseshoe tournament, break dance tournament, celebrity meet and greet, hydraulic competition, and live music from Lighter Shade of Brown and others.

- See more at:

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Cultural Forms in Discussion


Monday, March 18
noon SAC 5.118

Body issues:perverse surveillance and the sexualized sovereign

Randolph Lewis Associate Professor in American Studies

Gazing or glancing? Photography, Surveillance, and Socialist Colonialism.

Craig Campbell Assistant Professor in Anthropology

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Public Ethnography: Making Research Popular

Here’s a great video by Dwayne Beaver…

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The Oxford Comma – Infographic

From On-line schools website:


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Visual Transmissions: Ways of Knowing at Zaytuna College

Thursday, February 14, 2013
3:30 – 4:30 pm.
CLA 1.106



Visual Transmissions: Ways of Knowing at Zaytuna College

Zaytuna College is the first Muslim liberal arts college in the United States. Established in Berkeley, California in 2009, the College brings together first, second, and third generation African American Muslims, White and Latino converts, and the children of immigrants from South Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East, providing an important manifestation of a multiracial Islam. The wider project examines how racial, gender, class, and devotional differences within American Muslim populations are articulated and experienced through the lenses of Islamic knowledge-practices, Muslim suffering and promise, and cultural production and circulation. The research additionally explores how forms of representation and image-making constitute, suspend, or transform heterogeneous and multiracial collectivities built upon difference.

In this presentation I discuss visuality as an integral part of learning and teaching at Zaytuna College. Corporeal forms of knowing are engaged as students observe particular dispositions and occupy particular spaces. This presentation then looks specifically at my attempts to convey these practices through visual ethnography in ways that complicate the empirical values of video as a form of documentation.

Maryam Kashani is a PhD candidate in Social Anthropology at UT Austin. Her films and videos have been screened internationally.

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