A video-ethnographic study of a practicing taxidermist opens up new spaces of enquiry into the more-than-human geographies of craft and craftwork. In an attempt to witness the non-representational and more-than-human aspects of taxidermy craftwork I undertook a video ethnography of taxidermist Peter Summers based at the National Museum Scotland (NMS). Using a discreet HD video camera I filmed Peter performing various aspects of the craft during a number of workshop visits that took place over a three-year period. The resulting archive of video footage offers a ‘portfolio of ethnographic exposures’ (Dewsbury 2009: 326), enabling enquiry into the craft techniques it takes to separate a skin from a body and rearrange it in life-like form again. In this chapter I aim to elaborate on, and present aspects of, this video-ethnography in order to emphasise its potential for witnessing and exposing the sensory, affective and more-than-human registers of taxidermy practice. Overall the chapter aims to highlight video-ethnography as an effective and affective tool for studying craft practices, emphasising the serious empirical involvements required of researchers when engaging with the practices, embodiments and materialities of craftwork.
|Title of host publication||Video Methods|
|Subtitle of host publication||Social Science Research in Motion|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Name||Routledge Advances in Methods Series|
- Video ethnography
- more-than-human geographies
Patchett, M. M. (2015). Witnessing Craft: employing video ethnography to attend to the more-than-human craft practices of taxidermy. In Video Methods: Social Science Research in Motion (pp. 71-94). (Routledge Advances in Methods Series). Routledge.