Transcripts for Day 2

Group 2

After an hour of rest, Group 2 chose to convene in a bar in Hebden Bridge to discuss how to proceed with their collaborative task.

Daniel Peltz

Do people have ideas for how to facilitate this?

Rosalind Nashashibi

I've got a tiny bit of an idea, it's not so much an idea…

Daniel Peltz

More like a general idea.

Rosalind Nashashibi

A general idea. We should go round everybody maybe.

Daniel Peltz

Do you want to start?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Yeah, it's a bit strange. Because it's a short time, it would be good to do physically something that activated us physically into doing something and I don't know what or how, but I thought along the lines of re-enactment, of some sort of case study or something. Or putting together a play. Like silly things, you know, or…

Daniel Peltz

When you say re-enactment do you mean…

Rosalind Nashashibi

It could be from anthropology, could be from history - so a scene I mean.

Lesley Young

Like a tableau? A tableau vivant?

Rosalind Nashashibi

But not the still thing. A scene, re-enacting a scene, or it could be that we devise an encounter and play it out or take roles and do role-playing. Something that in the end we could perform, rather than have something in the end that's a video piece, or a sound piece or a text. I would be more interested potentially in having an action.

Anna Grimshaw

How did those thoughts come? What was it that…

Rosalind Nashashibi

Before I got here really. I was thinking about that because I was thinking about this as really about a group dynamic and about sharing information and it was clear to me that we would be expected to do something with it and I wanted that doing something with it to be live and active, rather than the idea of something finished that exists in the world and I just thought that we could do work that is somehow physical while we make it, that we might enjoy it, or it might make sense to do that.

Daniel Peltz

Could I add something to it as we go around, if, like one design of that thing we could do, would be out of this meeting.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Something I've either seen or in the past.

Daniel Peltz

Something that's come out of the discussion today. Something that's surprised you or that you didn't think of before.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well, I came with this in my head, but being here has just reiterated it. So like films I've seen where within the film there's a play, I think there's a play within a play and I see all of this as a performance and that we would make a play within a play by doing that.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I could add to that because I was thinking along similar lines, but my idea came from something that Anna suggested after I'd finished talking about my work earlier which was – how did you put it?

Anna Grimshaw

Did you think of re-staging, did you ever think of working with the narratives of story of the migration as a piece; and you responded saying "I don't have the narratives because they couldn't be recorded." So I said well, maybe you could make them up on the basis of what you remember, based on how people told you the story and what then would be the anthropological value of a reconstituted experience?

Lesley Young

So you mean the migration from India to Singapore [talked about by SV in the presentation of her work]?

Soumhya Venkatesan

The idea came partly from watching Paul Rooney's film Your Studio Host (2002 – 05) and partly from what Anna had said, and this gossip. Half of why people in the village I visit in India gossip so much about the migration is because it's imagined. They don't know exactly what is going on during these migrations.

Rosalind Nashashibi

It's like a mythical journey.

Soumhya Venkatesan

Yeah, so in some sense nobody knows what the body language is that people use when asking for money, or your way of holding yourself or expressing your needs and in some sense it might be really interesting to work with that lack of knowledge.

Rosalind Nashashibi

To imagine – to role-play that almost. There was something, now that you say that, to do with what's come out of discussions, to do with how we imagine - we as artists imagine anthropologists and how anthropologists imagine artists. There's got to be some myths within that as well which might come out through role playing, which might be quite interesting.

Daniel Peltz

Another – if we want to continue [going round]

Lesley Young

I was thinking rather of the located-ness of the seminar within the spaces of the building. Maybe it's an interest I have in architecture and looking at the residue of – but we haven't used the Methodist chapel yet. But there's a parquet part of the floor which shows where the apse would have been in the chapel and where the immersion pool was and there's just this remnant in the floor.

Rosalind Nashashibi

How do you imagine that fitting with the artists/anthropologist discussion?

Lesley Young

It would be more that we were using the architecture, the site, as a kind of neutral point for us to be within. It would allow a neutrality for all the parties to begin with something from that.

Anna Grimshaw

Well, I was very puzzled by the brief because I realised that an anthropologist wouldn't normally get these kind of instructions and so I don't have any response, but I was really interested in this idea that everybody was rushing to do something and to make something and whether that was the instinct of the artists to make. Being provoked by a series of parameters, constraints, whatever, something set that then propels the production of a piece of work, which I think is rather different from the way an anthropologist works - which is to wait and see what is emerging so…

Rosalind Nashashibi

I suppose that's because of the remit we've been given, by an anthropologist. But I suppose as artists we're maybe more used to getting…

Anna Grimshaw

A brief?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Not necessarily a brief, I'm not used to that, but I'm used to being expected to produce something.

Daniel Peltz

[to Ade Hunter, photographer] Feel free to join us.

Anna Grimshaw

So I was thinking about that, because I was thinking about this expectation of production and it came up in what Erika [Tan] was saying about ethnography as a process and ethnography as a product and whether its enough to have just the process with no obvious end product. These are just ideas. I don't have anything concrete; I was thinking about this rush to feel the need to make something, even if it doesn't last beyond the performance, where some kind of product emerged. There's a lot of discussion in anthropology about the culture of the process rather than the product, how one can somehow get a sense of things without putting boundaries around them, making them more concrete. So those are some of the thoughts that ran through my head. I was really amazed that Amanda [Ravetz] would produce such a thing as this. It really is in a very different language, she's wearing another hat. I was puzzled by everything that was implied by it.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I'm more perturbed by the fact that it has to be documented. I think the fact of doing it is important and good, but why does it need to have a website? I realise why, because she's got funding for this and she has to produce something as well. I'm more perturbed by that, but I can deal with it. In a way as an artist you're used to having to, or wanting to facilitate each other's work. As well as what that might bring you.

Anna Grimshaw

What do you feel Soumhya, as an anthropologist about this facilitation of work?

Soumhya Venkatesan

I'm not sure. I think the facilitation comes from the two or three days of conversation that we have and then what we take away from it and perhaps get in touch with people…

Rosalind Nashashibi

But that's not a result for Amanda.

Soumhya Venkatesan

No, like you Anna, I'm very surprised that we've been given a brief, to do something, but the only reasons I've now engaged with it is precisely because you said something that sparked off a thought that's got potential. But like you I would not want that to be documented because it would feel somehow…

Rosalind Nashashibi

I don't mind.

Daniel Peltz

I have a little more benevolent relationship to the problem, I think it's true you read it and you think it's focused on asking for a product, but I think one of the things that I appreciate in it is an attempt to move from just conversation to what it would mean to work together.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Precisely, and I think that's what this is really about in the end.

Daniel Peltz

And I think that's different from any of these other kind of gatherings that have happened around art and anthropology that I know of.

Rosalind Nashashibi

So that's why it becomes interesting then to talk about something concrete that we're going to do, rather than talking in theory about the idea of collaboration or the idea even of being asked to do something. Because now we can get to a point where we can say there's no doubt that your work, some of my work, has brought a lot of, not only thoughts, but scenarios, they all involve scenarios. And interactions between people, so maybe we can respond to that.

Daniel Peltz

One way, listening to you Rosalind, I really responded to your idea of re-enactment. And thinking about each of us developing or perhaps extracting a moment from the symposium that is resonant with us for some reason and then re-enacting those in succession and thinking about the group as the framework and our group as a collective and how that collective would represent…

Rosalind Nashashibi

I was thinking about that actually. I was thinking about a short re-enactment of the interaction between the beggar and the person, or doing the bit of the interview that, or thinking about being in the taxi going towards the hill on the first evening or …

Daniel Peltz

Or moments, such as when Mary said "this is ethnography," or private spaces. Like I've never seen any of your rooms or you've never seen, I mean maybe you've been going into each other's rooms like those spaces that are private, or like I was talking about just noticing how different people peel an orange. I was noticing sitting next to someone how neatly their orange was peeled. So we could all peel an orange and that could be a moment extracted or that could be a series of moments. And just chaining that together without any sense of intentionality but just linked together by virtue of our being a group.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think we should work on one whole rather than – otherwise it will become meaningless in terms of what it is, except if you were present.

Daniel Peltz

But I think if you look at those events together, if you list them and there are five of them, there are six of them actually when Ade is included, then we look at them and think, well how could we organise these in a way that they make sense? But I don't know if we're representing this framework outside of this group, I think we're really trying to see – I mean I think the charge was, one thing we can do is choose a project together and explore how we would begin approaching, exploring that project from our different perspectives. If you gave us the charge of 'go together and work on a year long project and it's going to involve X moments that we extract from this experience', or something we ask the bartender about in order to extract it from our individual concerns and then think about what we can develop… it's just a proposal for approaches, how, after having this discussion, would we think about working together.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think I'd imagined it as putting yourself in the position of, let's say for example Lucien, one of us and another of us putting ourselves in the position of a shepherd, and perhaps re-enacting what might have happened.

Daniel Peltz

Between Lucien and the shepherd?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Or, going into an example from literature, like somebody could present something more well known from anthropological literature, a case study or something, but that's more a drama scenario, but the reason I thought that would be good, is because it's through these things that we realise other stuff about perhaps our attitudes towards performing, which I'd never do ever, or just being in front of an audience, or, or, things that had happened to us, within our methodology, that we could say as an encounter and we could each just play out one, or each others. Like, I could mention an encounter I had when I was working on the container ship [Bachelor Machines Part 1] I mean your story, Soumhya, in a way came across as the most clear scenario because it's an imagined scenario that we all had pictures of because you just spoke about it.

Anna Grimshaw

Yeah, it might be interesting to take something concrete and think about how we would all work with that material differently.

Daniel Peltz

Or together.

Anna Grimshaw

Or together, exactly. Your oral narratives that only exist in our imagination or in your memory seems to me a potentially rich source that comes from within the symposium; but does that give us enough scope?

Daniel Peltz

Thinking narratively in that scenario is a little bit outside my approach. I look at those things and I'm more attracted to things like the physicality of the position of the weaver on the loom and like what it would feel like to sit like that, or what the gestures would look like at a closer range, or the notion of space, or like feet dangling that way, kind of hanging there. And so like what actually happened around that, is not really what I'm struck by in terms of investigating – I don't think projecting into that narrative space is really how I would explore…

Rosalind Nashashibi

But then you're picking up on things like the orange peeling and Mary saying "this is ethnography" in such a like…and that's narrative as well.

Daniel Peltz

It's a different kind of, well that one certainly, but the orange peeling…

Anna Grimshaw

What is interesting certainly for anthropologists and it's come up in other discussions, is how you can within something very physical, concrete and embodied, suggest a huge subjective space that is only evoked – I mean how one can pull the two things together which is in both recognising the concreteness of somebody who sits on a loom but also stimulating the viewer […… ] the subjectivity of that person which involves migration, which involves dreaming of journeys, also involves dreaming of riches. It certainly is quite a challenge for some anthropological filmmakers to do that, to give an embodied sense of the subject but also open up a sense of the imaginative space.

Lesley Young

Is there something we could learn to do, that we could identify, because leading on from your comments Anna, it strikes me there is the difference between know-how. I remember speaking to someone who used to set letterpress print blocks, an incredibly skilled job and he described the action of holding the letterpress, it was a technique and skill based on know-how, and its now lost. So it could be like orange peel, we all examine how we do it and we all actively learn how to do it in five different ways, because the loom idea it seemed so unclear how it was done – you wondered what is this tripod? It didn't make any sense, until you saw it and even then experienced it yourself and it's the physicality, of an ethnographic record or a film, it has the possibility to teach you something about how something is achieved that is unfamiliar.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I mean, in the end, this anthropology thing is a lot to do with social relations, and we've all said that, about how objects or ideas or rituals negotiate social relations, so I think what we do should be informed in some way by an understanding of what is happening between people, not crudely or directly but something like that.

Daniel Peltz

We could learn each others sleeping positions. Perform each others sleeping positions.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I kick around a lot. Well at least our initial sleeping positions.

Lesley Young

Did we all…I had two beds to choose from.

Daniel Peltz

I had four!

Soumhya Venkatesan

Well I was thinking about your "beeping"[See http://risd.tv/dpeltz/beep.html] And given that you were saying that one of the things you found really interesting was the physicality of something and I realised that we never saw any footage of someone noticing that sign for the first time, what their bodies do, whether they instinctively reach for their phone or whether they go a few paces, come back, pick up their phone, look at that thing, and I wondered if something we could recreate was something that would make us respond in a way that we wouldn't know we would respond because the suggestion would be really quite surprising. And I think the most interesting thing about this whole thing for me is a kind of shock of recognition when I see some pieces, and again you know your piece of the woman being interviewed and I'm completely obsessed with details of bodies and I do a lot of life drawing and this is all I draw, bits of knees, bits of arm, bits of back whatever, and this whole thing, there was quite an interesting conversation going on, but the shots were pulling more and more minutely into these body parts, so you don't really recognise them. And its that shock of 'here's someone else who likes these things as well', or, as well, watching Paul's work and thinking about what I could maybe do with my stuff. And it's that slight recognition where you say 'OK, I can see why were having this conversation.' So I'm saying capturing that sense of shock, of recognition, where you look at a sign or something and you think 'Oh I've been wanting to do this for along time, I never knew it was possible.' Like beeping God. Perhaps playing with something like that.

Rosalind Nashashibi

There's something with that interview you did Daniel, that piece with three screens, there is something similar to that with the film by John Marshall Joking Relationship that Lucien [Taylor] showed, in that it's very sexual, very flirtatious, I think – and I'd imagine that you would be aware of that in the text and the way you used the camera, and there is something in this kind of work that is in some way about possession. It seems in this work we've been looking at and about almost impropriety, of the problems that come with anthropological work. And that's something that has struck me over this seminar, but strikes me when I show work to students who feel there are moral issues at stake, that I don't agree there are areas to be avoided. So what I got from the three days is that people weren't talking about guilt or impropriety or they weren't saying should we be doing this. They weren't talking about how, when you go to intervene in such a way to document, you're actually traditionally thought to destroy what it was you were investigating. This kind of thing hasn't come up, which I'm glad about, because it gets boring being stuck in this moral debate and yet it's always there.

Anna Grimshaw

Yeah, I think what's interesting about the Marshall film and your film and in your work is, how close can you get to people and what becomes an assault and where is the point that it becomes uncomfortable and interesting at the same time.

Rosalind Nashashibi

And why would you want , I mean why would you want…

Daniel Peltz

Why would you want to become close to people?

Rosalind Nashashibi

No, why do we want to become close to people who aren't within our normal framework, I mean that's the point; its not that you are doing work about an intimate friend or lover or family member.

Anna Grimshaw

It's about making contact with some Other.

Rosalind Nashashibi

This is a completely strange situation. And I think for me, that needs to come through in whatever we do as a group. Some kind of recognition of that fact, like why are we here. Well we're here because we've been invited here, probably because we must all share a certain element of that. Putting yourself in an outsider position is what I'm trying to say, putting yourself in an outsider position deliberately, in order to have some sense, whether it be possession or belonging or partaking, or voyeuristic or whatever it is.

Daniel Peltz

It is interesting. I mean as you were saying that, I was thinking about the overlap between S.D.C.D. [the Society for Direct Communication with the Divine. See http://risd.tv/dpeltz/beep.html] – the question why faith, why belief, which is again this relationship with something outside your understanding.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think the danger with planning on doing something, is it could be either completely obscure or completely pretentious, and I think the point would be to keep it really, really simple.

Daniel Peltz

I think so too, so we have a design principle, simple.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Simple, like almost idiotic, preverbal, stupid.

Daniel Peltz

Do you want improper with that? 'Impropriety' came out.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Improper or bordering on politically incorrect.

Anna Grimshaw

Well, I think what is interesting in the cases in your film is that they are on the border in between what is proper and what is not.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think Joking Relationship goes quite far into improper and that is why I was so interested to know if that was OK now. And if there'd been some revolution again in thinking from when it was shot in the 1960s when anthropology was more titillating, in the sense of National Geographic.

Soumhya Venkatesan

Well, I don't think he was self-defined as an anthropologist so that question maybe isn't pertinent.

Anna Grimshaw

What seemed interesting was how close he went to both people, I mean that seemed to me so striking that he was right up there against their bodies,

Rosalind Nashashibi

I wondered if he could understand them or not, because you know in a way when you don't understand language, you have more access because people don't think about you later translating it. That's what happened to me on the ship.

Daniel Peltz

Also when people act like that, that's so gesturally clear and rich then that's very engrossing.

Anna Grimshaw

Though Marshal had lived a long, long time there. He'd sort of grown up there.

Rosalind Nashashibi

So he did speak the language.

Daniel Peltz

That's what Lucien prefaced it with, saying it had an extraordinary time-depth. And it was interesting to think about that like his extraordinary time-depth versus our encounter through the film as…

Anna Grimshaw

I felt he was in that choreography completely, it was three people moving around each other in this incredibly physical way.

Rosalind Nashashibi

As I was walking up the hill on the first evening, I was thinking of Francis Bacon paintings, and he talks about this notion of three, and I can't think about the exact terms he used but one would be, not the aggressor, but the 'perpetrator' or the 'protagonist', one would be the 'passive' one and the third would be 'attendant', and that reminded me of the figure of the artist or the anthropologist, to be like the one who waits on or observes, or is a kind of agent and that this was a more social relationship or a more socially valid relationship than the one we usually divide ourselves into, which is couples, and it sort of reminded of this esoteric notion of threeing. Which I don't know much about, but it's this very strange thing which amused me a lot about this idea. There was this artists group called 16 Beaver, which I think Bik van Der Pol are involved with as well - anyway, they invited this person who does different things like divining workshops. He also did these threeing workshops and his idea was there's much enrichment to be gained from a relationship of three rather than the way we divide ourselves up into twos or fours or whatever. And I thought of that as perhaps a basis for doing something. Something as stupid as a threeing workshop. Or who is this silent witness …

Daniel Peltz

We could hold a threeing workshop.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I've no idea what it involves.

Daniel Peltz

But that could be our … we could imagine that.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I went to a theatre workshop once where one exercise was, people were divided into twos but it would be even more productive with three, because the purpose of that was they were basically told you can do whatever you want but you can't take your eyes of each other. So essentially it's like what happens in the Marshall film and after a point I couldn't do it any more. It was just completely charged, but with a third, I wonder how something like that would play out?

Rosalind Nashashibi

A third would be watching the two but…

Soumhya Venkatesan

But would have to duck and weave.

Rosalind Nashashibi

It's really going to become like a drama workshop!

Anna Grimshaw

But in the Marshall film, he's not just observing them, they're observing him.

Rosalind Nashashibi

But they don't actually look at the camera much, but they talk about it.

Soumhya Venkatesan

The man does, more than the child.

Rosalind Nashashibi

He does once or twice towards the end. But he uses Marshall in order to get the little girl where he wants her.

Daniel Peltz

It seems like it would be important to practice with that and to employ video, either one as a live element, that we use for the other members, but also I think that there be some property of re-seeing, because what I think is missing in that three, is the delay of time, you know? The delay of time and only one person looking back. The scrolling dialogue in my piece Tonight I sleep in a strange bed (2002) is me in the edit room looking back and that's a very particular process, from a three, from a coupling three.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Sure, but are we trying to re-enact the making of a work of art, or are we trying to re-enact an encounter? I mean we can choose which part we re-enact.

Daniel Peltz

I mean as we think about the one scene, then we're starting to re-enact the power dynamics in some way, or the dynamics of that encounter, The visual dynamics of it we might want to think about and if that's all happening in the moment then we're missing the very important act of watching.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well, with three we have a surplus.

Daniel Peltz

We could have one person who is a watcher watching the whole thing through the live feed.

Lesley Young

Through the live feed?

Daniel Peltz

There could be a camera involved, they could alternate where one person has to look through the camera, or…

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think it's a bit too literal. The fact of having a video camera in it sort of literalises ... I think I imagined something a bit more difficult, because the camera would be an excuse for the third to be there and I kind of imagined it as more awkward, like the third would be left without…

Soumhya Venkatesan

without being involved?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Yeah, the camera would be an interface with the third which we could do away with and I also think it would be nice to keep, to make it real in the sense umm, in the sense that we would actually, that whoever the two were, would have something they were going to discuss, it wouldn't be like a drama or physical in that sense, perhaps – this is just an idea – but they could actually do something real together, but at the same time use that eye contact that you were talking about Soumhya. Because if we were doing movement, I mean we're not really in that field and it's a bit weird, I don't know what you think, but if we were using gestures without words it could become quite silly.

Lesley Young

But if we take the peeling an orange, that could be the activity that provides the focus.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well, peeling an orange is not the kind of thing that's done as a social relationship, that's the thing.

Daniel Peltz

It's a thing that requires focus. But you were thinking it's potentially a way of combining both these ideas like re-enactment could be a situation in which we engage this idea of three, using constant mutual regard, but during that, through the re-enactment of a real thing from this workshop?

Rosalind Nashashibi

It's heavy to do a moment from the workshop isn't it, because then we are going to be dealing with things that people said and we could be suggesting strained relations if we're then doing that with eye contact. I thought maybe something we could bring from outside. Even like Captain Cook going off, or some conversation … is anyone having like massive alarm bells ringing thinking this is going the wrong way?

Anna Grimshaw

No, I'm interested in where it's going because I think this notion of the three has become a very interesting idea. I'm not sure that we've figured out quite what to do with it, but for me it's interesting, because it sets up the whole question of participants, observers, I don't know quite what the dynamics are and whether people move through different positions. They might start as the observer but then become the protagonist. We're assuming people stay in the same place, but I think the Marshall film was interesting because things moved and maybe the old guy in the end was the one who was orchestrating, but there was actually quite a struggle going on between the three parties.

Daniel Peltz

One thing we could do is work with this threeing concept and reconvene after dinner and try out just an idea from each of us, very kind of open, but just do it and just see what comes out of that.

Anna Grimshaw

Because I'm just thinking now that the thing anthropologists get very worried about is losing their sense of self and subjectivity in complex relationships and I don't now if it's the same for artists, there is an interest in surrendering up to a certain point, and then an anxiety about whether somehow one loses who you are and that somehow you have to abstract yourself back out of it, and I'm wondering if artists are freer in allowing themselves to move through any of the different roles in the triad?

Rosalind Nashashibi

It's so egotistical in a way, if you think about art practice. Not all the time, but in essence the idea that you are the artist…and sort of…and as you said the time-depth of each encounter is usually less, even though over the space of a career it's the same. But for me there isn't that worry, but there's certainly the wonder of why I put myself in the situations that I do. And my worry is always a bit more what I then do to those situations and what I do to people in my need to get what I need. I'm much more worried about being an aggressor.

Lesley Young

Is it like an aggressive friendship to get what you want?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well not only in my work – in the thing, people, whatever I'm filming, but also the people who would help me realise it as a film. As a person who works in the media I work in, I need help and usually people will volunteer if they're interested in the project or I pay them to help me. Sometimes I can end up worrying if that was right, or if the relationship formed from that was right. Or the relationship I formed with somebody I was filming, that was misinterpreted. That kind of … it's almost a wish that I could lose a sense of self, because then there would less mess, do you know what I mean?

Soumhya Venkatesan

I think I have that as an anthropologist, that I'm always worried about what it is that people have said to me and have I understood it correctly or can I clarify this and sometimes I can't because it's sensitive and talking about it to someone else becomes a problem but it raises interesting questions. And you really wonder you know, what does it mean that people are talking to you and how much are you using them and I don't think it's a dissimilar worry, do you?

Anna Grimshaw

No, but what I wonder and I was thinking about this in terms of your film Eyeballing Rosalind, was the process of discovery and to what extent as an artist you're willing to go home with whatever turns out from the immersion and the experience or whether you remain anxious about holding on to what it was you wanted to get from it. I think that's part of the anxiety of the anthropologist that in a way they want to be open to anywhere the research takes them, which may be to a completely different place from where the research started off. And I wondered when you showed your film what you discovered in the course of making that film that you had no idea about?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well, Eyeballing is different to most of the films I'd made up until then, because most of the films I'd made up until then were more open in terms that I was showing a group more or less interacting with each other. So you as a viewer were watching social interactions like this. And you could take from it what you want whereas in Eyeballing I'm saying " I want you to look at this" and I'm showing my intentionality much more than I had done up until two years ago. But in it I knew I wanted to film these faces, but the cops came in some time later. I didn't know why. Cops in uniform with these faces, but I had no idea why. I knew that the desire to put them together meant that there was some knowledge there, or an idea there that I didn't have access to until I had made the film, and then once I had the film footage, I could go in the edit suite, it's like the idea that there's this space that you then fill once you've done the research.

Daniel Peltz

I'm wondering about having some organising principle for these threeing ideas we're going to come back with. Does the idea of an auto-ethnography of some kind that chooses our experience of this event as its subject make sense to people? It's a very different idea to think about coming back with ideas using the threeing idea as a principle, as thinking about threeing as a tool to explore the meeting as a context.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I don't know if I understood that completely. But it just occurred to me that when we go home, we're going to tell somebody about what's happened and I already told quite a few people that I was coming to this and they had different reactions, and I'm sure that we're all going to describe it so utterly differently to our friends, family, partners whatever. And that could be a relationship of two that a third observes, but not only that, but we could all perhaps go through what we might say and we might perhaps learn something from it and then we could take that on perhaps to an enactment.

Lesley Young

Or simply confess it – you know in a way that you wouldn't know what would happen, like the cops and the faces until you put them together, and so it's a bit of a risk to come back in the group and confess what we might say, or what we already said in conversations…

Rosalind Nashashibi

Well, I've had two really intense conversations on the phone about this, about what was happening with it and what wasn't happening with it and I had the person on the other end of the line saying you should do this, you should do that, you should get them to do that, you should tell them that.

Daniel Peltz

What have you been told to do?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Interrogate the anthropologists more. I was saying I'm a bit disappointed, because I really wanted to know more about anthropologists and it's just art and I'm bored with art. That was yesterday.

Anna Grimshaw

Do you now feel having seen and heard about how anthropologists work you have a better sense, or still do you…?

Rosalind Nashashibi

Yes, I do. I have a better sense, because I had a sense before, but it was based on literature or theory.

Anna Grimshaw

But what you've seen now, has it changed the way you think about what anthropologists do, or has it really confirmed what you thought?

Rosalind Nashashibi

I think it must have changed it, but I don't think it's something you can instantly qualify. It's changed it in the sense that different anthropologists obviously do different things – what Amanda wants to do I can feel, is different from what you want to do Anna and you want to do Soumhya.

Daniel Peltz

I'm struck by Amanda's description of one of her moments with the girls in the housing estate – an incredible term to start with, but, I was struck by her saying "oh well, you know, I had my daughter with me that day." It made me think about how the role of the ethnographer changes over time and how that relates to the character that you identify yourself with outside of those situations. I think about it in relation to when my nephew comes to work. It's something I can negotiate.

Rosalind Nashashibi

But still, people look at you in a different way, I never brought my boyfriend on to the cargo ship. I never brought anybody.

Anna Grimshaw

Whereas I think in Amanda's case - she obviously can explain for herself - but I think having her daughter there helped enormously in making what she was doing seem less exotic and more relate-able to.

Rosalind Nashashibi

And also the trust that she shows in bringing her daughter. I mean the women are talking in a way that her daughter wouldn't hear at home, so she is playing with their children and the women feel, "ok she trusts us", and that's important.

Daniel Peltz

I feel like that's something, like we talked about the licence of the artists, I feel like some of that comes out of our position and how we engage, because if we did that, if producing art was like bringing my nephew to meet other kids and spending months with them, I would make a different work that had a different sense of responsibility to people versus my ideas or versus what I observed. Those things would become less important to me I think, which is something that happens in anthropological work that maybe makes anthropologists disappointed with outcomes.

Lesley Young

Or very changed by their experience. Because you can't live on the hillside with the sheepherders and not be affected…I'm curious about this idea of friendship, because yesterday you described a work which grew out of a friendship that began a number of years ago …

Daniel Peltz

But on the other hand, after the Beepez-le! (2006) I had the strong sense I'm not an anthropologist, because I'd just spent five hours doing that and they wanted to go out for a drink and I went out for a drink and I really had no interest in talking to people, first of all I was exhausted, I felt like my communication was complete. They had communicated, I had communicated, but an anthropologist would want to…

Soumhya Venkatesan

No!

Lesley Young

But that's funny, because at different points during these few days I've wanted to have fun. We all just laughed in unison there, but I haven't felt an awful lot of fun and I normally laugh a lot and it's been quite icy or wary.

Daniel Peltz

I think that's to do with the form of a conference.

Rosalind Nashashibi

Showing work, there's not much space, but basically if people know your work you can laugh.

Lesley Young

No, it's not about laughing at the punch line, it's more about the socialness.

Rosalind Nashashibi

That's why the smaller group thing, I think the larger group has just been too large and in the smaller group people will have a lot more viable exchange at another level. You know, like I've had nice chats with people going up the hill and at lunches and dinners that have been much lighter.

Soumhya Venkatesan

It's been pretty packed. It feels very different to lots of other workshops I've been at and there hasn't been time to gravitate towards a couple of people.

Lesley Young

Within the art context that I've experienced they are just as packed end to end, with people moving on mass and people getting irritated and it's much more of a slog together.

Rosalind Nashashibi

We're all strangers as well.

Lesley Young

But still …

Rosalind Nashashibi

I was sitting there at one point and I was thinking, "imagine if so and so was there they'd say something really funny right now or something really sharp." I think in a way you start these things and everyone's a complete stranger and you look around and you think what's this going to be like and then at the end of the three days you've got a completely different idea from your first impression. And that's why they're so great in terms of this study we all do, but I did find myself thinking – those things take time. If it was an art thing and you didn't know each other, you'd know each other's work more or you'd know other people you all knew and there's not that, because even though there are other artists, we're not familiar with each other's work.

Daniel Peltz

So are we playing some threeing games when we come back together?

Soumhya Venkatesan

Calling us to order now!

Daniel Peltz

No, just thinking if there is anything else we need to know.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I think the threeing is a good idea.

Rosalind Nashashibi

What do people think about talking about what you already said or emailed or what you might say?

Lesley Young

I like that one.

Daniel Peltz

I think if people were comfortable we could locate it in a threeing game that deals with where we are at, or where we've been for this last day and a half and that could perhaps be a game.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I'd be very bad at this because I wouldn't talk about this to anyone for quite along time.

Rosalind Nashashibi

If somebody said you've just been away for three days how was it you wouldn't say…

Soumhya Venkatesan

I'd say it's been interesting. I wouldn't have processed it.

Rosalind Nashashibi

I've talked about it before, during, after.

Soumhya Venkatesan

I phoned my husband today and said "I think I'll come home tomorrow".

Rosalind Nashashibi

Were you thinking you might stay a year or something?

Soumhya Venkatesan

No, I was thinking I might go back today. I've got marking and teaching to start.

Rosalind Nashashibi

So you won't be here at the final thing?

Daniel Peltz

So we'll have to figure that into how we do our final presentation, we've got five people. Ade, do you want to come with a threeing game?

Ade Hunter

It would nice to follow it through for what I was doing for Amanda.

Group 2 discussion session
Group 2 discussion session
Group 2 discussion session
Group 2 walk to pub
Group 2 walk to pub
Group 2 discussion session
Group 2 discussion session