The Collaborative Seeing Studio (CSS) is a group of emerging and established scholars engaged in multimodal research with a special emphasis on the visual. Our diverse research interests and expertise span the fields of architecture, sociology, environmental psychology, urban education, and youth digital media practices to name a few, but we come together around a shared commitment to the interpretive practice of collaborative seeing.
The Collaborative Seeing Studio draws on liberatory and participatory feminist traditions.
Collaborative seeing combines an epistemological stance, a set of methodological protocols, and an analytic process, which aims to address the structural imbalances of power embedded in research relationships and preserve the multiplicity of meanings that are co-constructed between researcher and researched. Three key features of this approach include: 1) iterative and collaborative meaning-making with researcher(s) and participant(s) or adult(s) and youth; 2) a structured, sequenced immersion in the visual and multimodal data intended to catalyze researcher reflexivity; 3) and an approach to looking with and listening to research participants, especially children, that makes space for their multiple narratives, identities, and the ways they want to be seen.
We are working together over time towards building deeper understanding through multimodal scholarship.
Each member of CSS takes up collaborative seeing as an individual researcher and engages interactively in these practices within our group. We meet monthly at the CUNY Graduate Center to share visual and multimodal data, analysis, and scholarship, working together as an interpretive community. Gathered around a table, over mugs of tea, we look together at videos, listen together to audio works, read texts, and bounce around the web. This group serves as one face-to-face site for focused attention to our materials and each other’s analyses, thus “audiencing” our data as well as our emerging interpretations, and deepening our own reflexivity as researchers.