This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


data is about creating patterns, looking across multiple interviews to find ways of understanding the links between objects and narratives.
This post also honours Clifford Geertz who died on October 30th and was the anthropologist who wrote about thick description and that 'man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.' (Geertz 1993;5)
Every Tuesday I am doing the fieldwork for this project, as well as coding and analyzing and it is Geertz who cheers me up.
He tells me that,
'Culture is public because meaning is.' (Geertz 1993:12) and that,
'Doing ethnography is like trying to read.... a manuscript - foreign, faded, full of elipses, incoherences, suspicious emendations, and tendentious commentaries, but written not in conventionalised graphs of sound but in transient examples of shaped behaviour. (Geertz 1993:10)
At the moment, I am reading transcripts and trying to turn them into other kinds of texts, ones that link across different texts and have different kind of headings and organisation.
My focus is on the objects and the creative patterns they make over time, and how their traces can be followed across diasporas and time frames.
So here are some of my patterned objects:


sewing machines




Scott said...

love geertz.

Anonymous said...

Love the Geertz quote. I've been thinking about data and how we add our own interpretation on to what we have collected. Are we manipulating data for our own ends? Does it matter that others will see the dats differently?