Achieving mutual accessibility through the coordination of multiple perspectives in open, unstructured landscapes
Keywords:perception, perspective, multisensoriality, mobility, line of sight, camera-work
Whenever actors perceptually engage with the surrounding world in concert with others, they routinely attend to the degree to which their perceptions (whether visual, aural, tactile, etc.) do or do not overlap with their co-participants. In making a perception publicly accessible then, participants must not only attend to potential perceptual gaps, but have-at-hand a range of discursive and embodied practices for closing those and making what is perceived by one mutually accessible to others. In this paper, using data collected from a geological field-school, I investigate the embodied and mobile practices that participants use for coordinating perception via perspective in open, wilderness settings. I focus in particular on the visual practices that participants use for making what one “sees” in the landscape or activity “seeable" for others. These practices are in turn analyzed with regard to how they highlight the camera’s role in documenting the embodied means by which these practices work. In the analysis of data, we will see the participants’ perspective or line of sight, i.e., the axis of their gaze become a more explicit and salient feature for coordinating the interaction. Field geology provides a perspicuous setting for not just investigating how participants reconfigure themselves vis-a-vis local features in the landscape in order to perceive those features, but also for examining the relationship between the videographer’s perspective as documented on camera and that of the participants.
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