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* Welcome to the Ethnographic Terminalia archive for our 2009 exhibition*



link to new site


* Website Archive 2009 *



Ethnographic terminalia is a group exhibition of installation works that showed at the Ice Box gallery (Crane Arts, Philadelphia) in December 2009. The Ice box is billed as one of Philadelphia's largest art venues.

The exhibition draws together disparate trajectories and modes of inquiry from the margins of ethnographic and anthropological practice. Eschewing received and often unquestioned techniques of dissemination, the works in this exhibition seek new territories and new audiences for exploring their subject matter. From the microtechics of skilled gestures to audioacoustemologies of Paris architecture they express a desire to animate and explore formal disciplinary boundaries.

The terminus is the end, the boundary, and the border: this exhibition is a celebration of these borders but not an exaltation; it is a playful engagement with reflexivity and positionality; it asks what lies beyond and what lies within. No longer content to theorize the ends of the discipline and possibilities of new media, new locations, or new methods of asking old questions, the ethnographers in this exhibition are working in capacity to develop generative ethnographies that do not subordinate the sensorium to the expository and theoretical text.

The works presented in ethnographic terminalia in their various ways address the possibility of showing and interpreting cultural worlds outside of the traditional cinematic and textual frameworks. By engaging with the spaces of contemporary art exhibition and by playing in the grammars and idioms of contemporary art practices these works decenter the privileged categories of both ethnography and art. In this case the work of art itself is called into question by problematizing the titular categories that govern conventional paradigms: are these artists or ethnographers? Has this work been edited or is it presented as raw data? What is participant observation anyway? What constitutes witnessing? What is the role of the spectator in all of this?


The exhibitors for ethnographic terminalia are an ad hoc international group of ethnographers, anthropologists, and artists.

Curatorial Team

Organizational Team



Supported by: The Society for Visual Anthropology, Crane Center for the Arts, Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies (University of Texas at Austin), Workshop for Intermedia Ethnographies, Chris Fletcher (University of Alberta), Mike Evans (Community, Culture and Global Studies at University of British Columbia, Okanagan), University College London, Temple University.

For more information please write to


Craig Campbell
Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Folklore and Public Culture
Américo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies

Department of Anthropology, C3200
1 University Station
University of Texas, Austin
Austin, Tx, 78712-0303