2020-2021 Colloquium Series
The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present
Visual Semantics of Drawing and Photography in Scientific Research,
Proposing a new Method of Drawing and Photography for field work notes
Lina Tegtmeyer, PhD
North American Studies, Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
Friday, April 2, 2PM-4PM PST
Hosted on Zoom [click here]
*Please note earlier time for this meeting, 2-4PM.
In my current research project I propose a new methodological approach that bridges anthropological and artist tools. I proposed to rethink the practice and interpretation of notations in the field (or research), that is quite simply, to understand drawing and photography not as competitors of truth—which medium is more truthful—but as collaborators.
Traditionally, note taking on expeditions before the invention of photography and film had been done with thorough sketch works drawn by hand that were later transposed into reproducible prints (etchings, lithographs). Anthropological field work, as social documentary, has developed a tradition of taking films and photographs to provide insight of what they “saw”. With time, the hand drawing disappeared as unreliable visual source from most research areas. Postcards in early times served the purpose also to send home an illustration of the visited place. With the development of affordable and portable cameras, similarly to the anthropologist, tourism culture developed a practice of taking photographs, of “hunting” a good picture, to show the ones who stayed at home, what place, people, foods, etc. really looked like elsewhere.
This project is about current and historic significance of pictures in scientific research. It puts into question existing academic parameters of drawings and photography to debate possible paradigm shifts in visual semiotic negotiation and corresponding meaning in academic context. The analogue hand drawing is explored as genre, as practice and in reference to the iconic picture of truth in science: the photograph. When both media are made use of parallel to one another, the documents/notations/field notes that result offer a wider scope than using only one tool. I will also present the differences in how both practices are perceived in the field, and initiate to debate how that alters research practices.
A selection of Lina Tegtmeyer's drawings and notes: https://linasreisezeichenblock.wordpress.com/
Lina Tegtmeyer was educated largely in West-Germany in Latin American Studies, North American Studies, and Graphic Design, and earned her Dr. phil. in 2016 in North American Studies at the Graduate School of North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin with Nelson Graburn as advisor in her dissertation committee. Working for over a decade at the transdisciplinary intersection of Visual Studies, Urban Studies and Tourism Studies, in 2015 LT joined the faculty for Visual Design in the Department of Architecture at university RWTH Aachen for a year to set out on a highly experimental project on scientific drawings made by hand as potential research method. Invited to teach “Ethnographic Drawing” by Prof. Dr. Alexa Färber at Hafen City University Hamburg in 2016 to experiment with students, LT is currently preparing a groundbreaking assistant professorship that will intersect artistic practice (drawing, dance, photography and film) with scientific research (Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Urban Studies, Tourism Studies) with a curious network of international researchers and artists. LT has published her "new urban tourism" imagery in Detroit research in a Tourist Studies issue edited by Dean McCannell, and co-authored a paper on her recent project that proposes drawing and photography as field work method with Yuca Meubrink, HCU Hamburg in 2020. LT has been a speaker, visiting scholar and passionate tourist to TSWG since 2009 with her MA thesis on postcards of New York City. Since 2012, LT is a Core Research Affiliate to TSWG.