Welcome home! Digitally documenting multisensorial narratives of domestic spaces

Track:
UNDER LOCKDOWN/IN THE WAKE OF COVID I
What:
Talk
When:
10:30, Thursday 6 May 2021 (30 minutes)
Breaks:
Break    11:00 AM to 11:30 AM (30 minutes)
Discussion:
0
Jenni Lauwrens, University of Pretoria, South Africa


This presentation describes and reflects critically on a learning experience that centered on a group of graduate students’ multisensory, embodied and emplaced interactions in the private spaces of their homes during ‘lockdown’ in South Africa in September 2020. The project specifically sought to explore new ways of doing sensory research on a digital platform where, it has been argued, connection, communication and keeping in touch with others are apparently sorely lacking, or at least utterly compromised.

The project used digital research methods to document, describe and interpret the students’ multisensory experiences in their own homes as a means to communicate connection and empathy with others. Mobile technologies were used to gather data and digital tools were used to construct a digital archive comprising audio-visual and multisensorial material collected during the data gathering phase. Thereafter, this data was analysed and the findings were presented in an interactive, multimedia, hypermedia online platform that highlighted multisensorial experiences of private domestic spaces. By taking an experimental approach, traditional research methods took a digital turn in an effort to grapple with the intersection of sensory autoethnography and remote digital communication technologies.

Presenter
University of Pretoria
Senior Lecturer in Visual Culture Studies