Workshop: In search of images

How to invent visual socio-technological devices for research, from the ethnographic field to the realm of publication, from the inquiry to its restitution?
From September 28 to 30, 2020 at École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs

The project In search of image (“En quête d’images”) positions itself at the crossroads of art, design, anthropology and ergonomics. Its ambition is to invent and test visual research devices (“dispositifs”) that do not dissociate the three key stages of ethnographic research: the elaboration of field data, its analysis and the restitution of results.

This approach has a dual purpose: on one hand, to invent new formats to render research in the humanities and social sciences to a wider audience than the members of the scientific community; on the other hand, to invent image-based narratives that can convey a different perspective on the artistic and social phenomenons observed in the field without crowding out the fluidity of the sensible. We believe that the conception of image-based research devices (including photography as well as video or data-visualization) encourages other approaches of writing about and with reality, and transforms practices of investigation: from collection and analysis methodologies to restitution.

During this workshop, four team of researchers from projects supported by EUR ArTeC (“En quête d’images” and “Tailleurs d’images”) discuss common research issues that question the circulation of knowledge, the possibility of addressing new audiences using innovating forms of publicizing research, the creation of visual arrangements and speculative narratives to share collective research that mobilize diverse empirical data (visual, sound, geographic), and the experimentation with interactive devices for the restitution of ethnographic inquiries.

How should we report on the encounter between artistic and iconographic cultures and their circulations on transnational and transhistorical levels? What form should be given to interactive visual devices that lead us to reverse the “text-image” relationship to the “image-text” one? How should we develop an image-based research allowing us to create polyphonic narratives around the same work? How can we reconstruct the life trajectory of a work or an image as well as its different encounters and interactions until now? How do these encounters renew the questions and issues of research-creation? Which contradictions between scientific, artistic and vernacular activity systems do they reveal?


Organization committee

Francesca Cozzolino  (teacher-researcher, EnsadLab)
Anne Bationo Tillon (teacher-researcher HDR, Université Paris 8)
Samuel Bianchini (artist-researcher HDR, EnsadLab – Reflective Interaction, Chaire arts & sciences) 
Sophie Krier (artist-researcher, project manager, EnsadLab)

This editorial workshop gathers researchers from Université Paris 8 (Paragraphe laboratory and EPHA laboratory) and EnsadLab (laboratory of École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, EnsAD – Université Paris, Sciences et Lettres) in the framework of the research program In search of images co-directed by Francesca Cozzolino (EnsadLab, EnsAD – Université Paris, Sciences et Lettres) and Anne Bationo Tillon (Université Paris 8, Paragraphe laboratory) with the collaboration of the EnsadLab “Art, design & société” platform and the research project “Tailleur d’images” (Eur ArTeC) led by Arno Gisinger (Université Paris 8, EPHA laboratory) as well as the support of la Chaire arts & sciences of École polytechnique, EnsAD-PSL and la fondation Daniel et Nina Carasso.