Meetings are, together with papers and books, perhaps the quintessential mechanism for the circulation of academic knowledge. And yet, despite their relevance, we usually resort to the most conventional formats: paper presentations, round tables, etc. Nevertheless, anthropology has recently recognised the need to explore other ways of sharing our knowledge and thinking together. The lab call that EASA has made in the last conferences evinces an interest that we at the Collaboratory for Ethnographic Experimentation (#Colleex) network also share.
In our case, we strongly believe that formats to share and think together should be considered as part and parcel of a discussion on ethnographic experimentation. In our work we have been exploring these venues using the rather loose term open formats. What are they? And, most importantly, what can an open format be? In this sense, this documentation project has a twofold goal. First, we aim at bringing for discussion the relevance of experimenting with meeting formats as pedagogical spaces for the apprenticeship of ethnographic experimentation. Second, we argue for the need to document these ‘experiments in meeting’ so that they may travel, be learnt and reproduced elsewhere.
What follows are different attempts at formalising our positions and experiments around meeting formats, documenting and discussing them in what we hope could develop in time into a full archive.