Constellations of us: backstories to a bark TV

Deger, Jennifer (2011) Constellations of us: backstories to a bark TV. Journal of Australian Studies, 35 (2). pp. 219-234.

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This paper is concerned with the intercultural production and reception of images, new methodologies, new forms of research, and new forms of visual culture. It takes up these issues by telling stories about the production of an art installation made possible by a long-term collaboration between a Yolngu family and an anthropologist and deeply informed by the ways that Yolngu use images to enliven relationships and amplify the field of vision beyond the strictly see-for-yourself veracities and the surface allure of the visible. This article attempts to point towards, and re-enact even, these dynamics as they operated within the exhibition. Against an established artworld discourse that privileges the "ancestral" as the source of meaning and motivation in Yolngu art, these images and stories provide a sense of how a particular constellation of lives, ambitions and disappointments not only gave rise to this project, but shaped the way we understood its potential. For those of us involved, the work of this collaboration was to activate certain intersecting intercultual and biographic vectors, rather than to produce an image object embodying "tradition" or even "invention", independent of context and moment, complete and stable in itself.

Item ID: 31968
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1835-6419
Keywords: images; visual culture; anthropology
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), University of New South Wales, NYU Centre for Religion and Media
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2014 02:58
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950205 Visual Communication @ 50%
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