Invisible participants in a visual ecology

Visual space as a resource for organising video-mediated interpreting in hospital encounters


  • Jessica Pedersen Belisle Hansen University of Oslo



visual ecologies, interactional space, video-mediated interaction, multimodality, interpreting, hospital interaction


This paper explores multilingual hospital encounters in which medical professionals and patients do not speak the same language, and where interpreting is facilitated through the use of video technology. The participants use video technology to create an interactional space for interpreting. While video technology affords the participants visual access to each other, and the participants may use embodied actions in interaction, participants in interaction do not necessarily organise their interactional space in ways that secure congruent views of each other. While the participants’ incongruent views of each other may cause problems in the organisation of interaction, the participants rarely discuss the visual setting. This article explores how the participants orient to the visual materiality of the setting and how they use the visual ecology they create, in and through the interaction, in order to achieve the multilingual activity of interpreting in hospital encounters. 



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How to Cite

Hansen, J. P. B. (2020). Invisible participants in a visual ecology: Visual space as a resource for organising video-mediated interpreting in hospital encounters. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 3(3).