Riereta.net: Epistemic and Political Notes From a Techno-Activist Ethnography

Blanca Callén, Marcel Balasch, Paz Guarderas, Pamela Gutierrez, Alejandra León, Marisela Montenegro, Karla Montenegro, Joan Pujol

Abstract


In this article we report on an ethnographic research experience on Riereta, a techno-activist workshop located in Barcelona, where free software and other technologies are developed and put at the disposal of other political projects and activist collectives. Through our research experience, we answer some methodological issues but also raise related epistemic and political questions: What kind of methodical tools must we implement in order to experience the semiotic and material dimension of the subject? How to introduce the technology in our research activity? What kind of methodology can we develop if we want to be consistent with participants' wishes and ways of life? or How to take account of multiple and different voices that compose every ethnographic comprehension and creative practice? All of these questions could be summarized as an quest for turning social research and ethnographic practice into techno-political action. The article is organized in three parts: 1) the relationship between research subjects and objects variously constituted, shifting from a co-research perspective to an epistemologically articulated one; 2) the methodology applied, close to a performative and virtual ethnographic perspective where some technological tools, such as Tiki-Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikiWiki), are used; and 3) the products of the research process: collective and situated understandings of technoactivism. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs070317

Keywords


technoactivism; performative ethnography; virtual ethnography; situated knowledge; articulation