The genre of Visual Vignettes takes up the theme of infraStrucTureS by considering research, data analysis and dissemination tools as methodological infrastructure. What are the norms of common research, writing and communication practices that have defined STS, which are often borrowed and readapted from neighboring disciplines? Methodological infrastructures, like any infrastructure, channel and guide, are made and remade, they leak and break, they get fixed and repurposed.
The latter is central to this proposed contribution to the Innovating STS exhibition. Visual vignettes is a novel genre that connects the vignette with the visual essay, and in the process breaks the ‘labour division’ of text as content and image as its illustrator. The rules are simple: 4-10 frames, however many visuals (images, drawings, graphs, etc.), and 500-1000 words. By repurposing the software program of Powerpoint, participants are invited to consider rearranging their (visual and textual) material beyond the common formats of a dissertation, article or a seminar essay. In previous workshops, the convenors have found that Visual Vignettes are adaptable, serving anything from curating fieldnotes, to analysing one’s collected data, to developing new communication modes. Similar to Innovating STS’ potential installment in departments, library foyers, etc. and its digital collections, Visual vignettes does both as well: exhibiting developed (printed) Visual Vignettes, and curating them online via STS Infrastructure and http://visualvignettes.wordpress.com/