Fieldwork is nomadism. Investigators are sent out into the world to observe, collect and home in on objects and phenomena. They wander in the pursuit of patterns and turn artefacts into delegates in order to vouch for what they have seen. From time to time, one of these artefacts resists description; it does not want to fit into any pattern; it forces them to sheer and break new ground.

The workshop is dedicated to the powerful experiential trajectories that artefacts evoke. Artefacts are always in some sense both ‘lost’ and ‘found’ in that they are simultaneously retrieved and inserted, inconspicuous and revealing, ungraspable and fixed. Writing with and through the artefact, what do we retrieve and insert? Is ‘critical’ empirical research subtractive, multiplicative or a zero-sum game? Is this afterlife of artefacts, as discourse, part of ‘our experience’? If, as David Byrne famously quipped, “Writing about music is indeed like dancing about architecture,” what does the artefact bring to thinking? What would it mean to strip the gloss from experience, to step haphazardly into the “deep shit” (Clark & Hird 2014) of experience with things, those untrustworthy, evasive, nuggets of illusory evidentiality.

Departing from lost and found artefacts of all kinds (audio files, video footage, objects/representations of objects, drawings, etc.), a group of nomad researchers discusses approaches to contemporary practices of research, and the blurring of boundaries between observation and production, between artist, researcher and producer in the process of being faithful to experience.

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