Taking an artistic approach to ethnography, I use collections of objects and data, social practice, and meditative mark making as tools for understanding cultural phenomena and interpreting the world around us. I am interested in using these unorthodox methods to examine how self and community care manifest in 2020 in particular because unprecedented times call for unprecedented modes of understanding.
Inspired by artists who involve participants in the creation of artworks. I work with participants to perform actions that exaggerate the physicality of caregiving behaviors. The physicality of care generally takes two forms: use of the body and interaction with materials. Through making, materials become metaphors for the actions that gave birth to them. Magnification of caregiving behaviors exposes the strengths and limitations of the caregiving method at hand and forces the participant to view care from a more embodied and metaphorical vantage point. With this new perspective, participants can imagine new possibilities for the ways we look after ourselves and one another.
I consider participation in these explorative actions to be the work. However, the physical traces of these actions serve as visual ethnographies that can be revisited, reworked, or warn of the danger that lies where care is neglected.