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Sweetgrass

Premiere Date: July 5, 2011

Sweetgrass in Context

Sensory Ethnography

Sweetgrass recordist Lucien Castaing-Taylor directs the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, which aims "to support innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography" with original nonfiction media practices in both the visual and acoustic realm.



Sweetgrass recordist Lucien Castaing-Taylor is a leader in the field of sensory ethnography, which involves combining the research methods used in anthropology and ethnography with media or other artistic tools to document the lives of real people.

Associate professor of the humanities and of the social sciences at Harvard University, Castaing-Taylor also directs the school’s Sensory Ethnography Lab, a collaboration between the departments of anthropology and visual and environmental studies. He is also director of the Film Study Center, and director of graduate studies in Critical Media Practice at Harvard.

The Sensory Ethnography Lab aims "to support innovative combinations of aesthetics and ethnography" with original nonfiction media practices in both the visual and acoustic realm. The lab draws from sciences, arts and the humanities, seeking to represent human realities and social experiences more richly than is possible with words alone. The field is informed not only by the disciplines of anthropology — study of human beings — and ethnography — study of human cultures — but by the traditions of documentary cinema, sound art and the visual arts.

Sources:
» MacDougall, David. Transcultural Cinema. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998.
» "Sensory Ethnography." Harvard University Gazette, December 14, 2006.
» Sensory Ethnography Lab



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