Ethnography is the systematic study of people and cultures. It is designed to explore cultural phenomena where the researcher observes society from the point of view of the subject of the study. As for the methods for Ethnography, fieldwork is no doubt a main way for researchers to get various data and materials about society.

Specifically, fieldwork is the collection of information outside of a laboratory, library or workplace setting. The approaches and methods used in field research vary across disciplines. For example, biologists who conduct field research may simply observe animals interacting with their environments, whereas social scientists conducting field research may interview or observe people in their natural environments to learn their languages, folklore, and social structures. For instance, by observing or interviewing people, social scientist can obtain knowledge about their languages, social relationship, habit and so on.

Field research involves a range of well-defined, although variable, methods: informal interviews, direct observation, participation in the life of the group, collective discussions, analyses of personal documents produced within the group, self-analysis, results from activities undertaken off- or on-line, and life-histories.

As for creative art part, ethnography has some new features, including naturally occurring settings(How do artists work, how do audience work),ordinary activities(observe people from daily and natural life),Social meanings(how do people create and find meaning),The how of the social organisation of activities(eg. accident report), The perspective of the paticipants(in my opinion, it’s the aspect to change perspective to observe),The member categories(what is your TA, if you want to get more precise data, you need to expand the social groups),Descriptive(Say what you saw and reflect on the theory),Participant observation(you should be both participant and observer), Reflexivity (Reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect,In sociology, reflexivity therefore comes to mean an act of self-reference ).

Activities: 1 Observe what kind of art works people may interest in Northumberland street

2 make a proposal for public artworks


Observe part(Thursday, 11AM)

People walk quickly on the street

Most of them are old people (couples, with shopping bags) and students (without shopping bags, just passing the street).

People prefer indoor activities.

People will cast a glance at sculpture in the street.

Artwork proposal

1. Small art market in the center of the street.

2. Small LED door in the center of the street, people can open the door and connected the people from other place or even different ages.

Aim: to attract people to participant in more outdoor activities .


To sum up, by the way of  ethnography, artists need spend a lot of time to observe and experience their target audience, only in this way, artists can get enough data and make a comprehensive plan for their works.