Ethnograms: A micro-residency for artists, designers, programmers and anthropologists

21st-23rd May, 2014

Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh


We welcome applications from artists, designers and programmers to participate in the Ethnograms Micro-Residency; an opportunity to work with a team of anthropologists at the University of Edinburgh to develop new ways of visualising social relationships with diagrams, info-graphics and maps.


Anthropologists Alice Street and Jamie Cross have been working in Papua New Guinea since 2003, exploring the ways in which people mobilise their relationships in order to access healthcare and energy in a place where large-scale, centralised infrastructures such as roads or power-lines are absent. Their current ESRC funded project ‘Off the Grid: Relational Infrastructures for Fragile Futures’ seeks to find new ways of visualising the relational qualities of infrastructure in such off-grid locations by harnessing the simple power of the diagram and bringing it into engagement with new technologies for web-based, interactive infographics and mapping.


Anthropology has a long history of using maps and diagrams to visualise kinship or exchange relationships, but a lack of engagement with the visual and digital arts has meant that the full potential of these visual methodologies has not been realised. Through collaborations with artists, designers and programmers, this exploratory micro-residency aims to develop a new visual form out of the complementary methods, skills, experience and knowledge of social scientists, artists, designers and programmers: the ethno-gram. Artists, designers and programmers will have the opportunity to work closely with the anthropologists and to engage with a large body of ethnographic material from Papua New Guinea.


The micro-residency will culminate in a pop-up exhibition of ‘Ethnograms’ and will feed into a larger scale public exhibition of project outputs in early 2015. Following the residency the University of Edinburgh team are looking to select an artist to collaborate with more closely and to award a £5,000 commission.

The deadline for applications is Tuesday 6th May.

Click here for the application form. Please complete and email to

Further information for applicants is available here.