Other Modalities


Reading Aalok's annotation about how the collaboration discourse is really dominated by collaboration-out rather than collaboration-within, I started thinking about another shift that might help frame our essay: we also have a different understanding and enactment of what a mode is.  Their modes are mostly end products or already formed, perhaps a legacy of coming from visual anthroplogy: mode is equivalent to media, it seems, although we should think about whether that is true.  PECE accommodates relatively traditional media-modes in this sense: images, audio, text.  We don't do smells, we don;t do games, etc. -- and this is an infrastructural effect.  For all the talk of multimodalism there is no talk of multi-infrastructuralism.  Although they start to get there through a mention but not much analysis of "platform":

In other words, the ASA report recognizes social media at the cost of ignoring other dimensions of media that enfold our academic work. Consider social media as more than platforms for dissemination. First, social media have become a means of research—forums where research and scholarship are formulated, negotiated, and organized. Second, social media have become sites of collaborative media production, places where media have flowed between anthropologists, interlocutors, and communities. These processes defy the easy assignation of authorship but also suggest a more egalitarian form of knowledge production. Finally, social media (by definition) support forms of dissemination that are simultaneously reproductions through remix, recontextualization, and the secondary production of added media content. That is, media on social media platforms are dynamic and protean in a way that other forms of scholarly dissemination (even those that lay claim to reflexivity) may fail to be.

Anyway, our modes maybe are: the archival mode, the collaborative analytic mode, and the experimental communication/publication mode.  And on the latter score, the infrastructural issue can be approached via the fact that we had to put the AA article up here because some of our collaborators can't access Anthrosource.  We needed infrastructure that could accommodate the need to make that available to us but keep it inaccessible to others because of copyright, placing the archival mode in tension with the publication mode, and forcing us to develop infrastructure that could accommodate and work with/in that tension.


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Contributed date

October 23, 2019 - 10:25am

Critical Commentary

trying this PECE mode here