On May 19, at 5:30 p.m., at the University of Algarve, in the ‘Sala dos Actos’ of the Faculty of Economics, anthropologist Massimo Canevacci, from the Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza (Italy), currently Visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), will deliver the lecture “Digital Ethnography (or Sincretika Digitalia)”. The session will focus on the presentation of the contents of the work “SincrétiKa – Explorações Etnográficas sobre Artes Contemporâneas” [SincrétiKa – Ethnographic Explorations into Contemporary Arts], written by Canevacci.

The event, organised by CIAC in partnership with CIEO (Research Centre for Spatial and Organisational Dynamics), comes about as a result of the Italian anthropologist’s trip to the 4th Annual Meeting of AIM – Association of Moving Image Researchers, to be held this year at the University of Beira Interior.

About the lecture:

The aim of the lecture is to explore the reflexive relationship between the ethnographic method and the digital culture. The transformations between communicational metropolis, subjective ubiquity and digital technology raise conflictingly decentralised and mimetically ambiguous possibilities based on self-representation. Concepts-in-the-making of exact imagination, ‘multividual’ connectivity, visual fetishism, and methodological stupor are filtered through digital culture in a perspective tending towards post-dualism and in an experimentally polyphonic composition.

The ethnographic method is thus less connected to a discipline (cultural anthropology) and extended according to “undisciplined” and “ubiquitous” characteristics. The metropolis changes and the communication-culture-consumption triptych is always more instrumental in the everyday experience in transurban interstices and in social networks. It is precisely in this context that decentralised narratives, urban performances, digital flows, blending of art, advertising, design, architecture, film, music, fashion, sport occur. A shifting transitive citizenship and a horizontal political critique of the communication division of labour based on “who-represents-who” come into being. The concept of “digital auratic reproducibility” is presented as the flow of digital communication that syncretizes aura and reproduction.

The critical vision of the theory is suited to this fluid model of doing research. The theory is guided by research and, in its procedural immanence, it needs to incorporate logical, aesthetic, expressive references towards revealing the progressive tendencies of contemporary cultures and communication. As such, the influence and transformation model is an experimental critical theory for managing to achieve the three levels of the project: theoretical abstraction, empirical immanence and compositional elaboration.

About the speaker:

MASSIMO CANEVACCI is a professor of Cultural Anthropology and of Digital Art and Cultures at the Faculty of Communication Sciences, at “La Sapienza” University of Rome. Since 1984 he has been teaching and doing research in Brazil too. In 1995, he received the “National Order of the Southern Cross” from the Brazilian Federal Government, for his research on São Paulo. He has worked as a visiting professor in several European and American universities, as well as in Tokyo (Japan), Nankin (CUCN), Florianópolis (UFSC), Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) and São Paulo (ECA-USP). He is currently a visiting professor at the University of São Paulo (IEA-USP).

Some Publications:

Sincrétika. Explorações etnográficas sobre artes contemporâneas, Studio Nobel, 2014

A linha de pó, Annablume, 2012 (The Line of Dust, The Bororo Culture between Tradition, Mutation and Self-Representation Wantage, Sean Kingston Publ., Canon Pyon, 2013)

A cidade polifônica (Studio Nobel, 20113)

Fetichismos visuais (Ed. Atelier, 2008)

Culturas extremas (DpA, 2005),

(forthcoming) Lusophone Hip Hop. “Who we are” and “Where we are”: identity, urban culture and belonging (Ed M. Canevacci – R. Martins), Canon Pyon, Sean Kingston Publ.

View the main photos of the event here:

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