Below, I have compiled and annotated excerpts from films that demonstrate some of the ways we might explore using film in interviews, sensory elicitation, and re-enactment (though they by no means represent my entire corpus of work). While I have gained a great deal of insight through recording and reflecting on historical significance, I am very interested in exploring collaborations at intersections with ethnography and anthropology, where we might address and historicise areas such as embodied cognition and re-enactment.
Craddock, P. (2010). Reconstruction of Open Cholecystectomy. London: Imperial College, London.
This is footage from my first professional collaboration with Prof. Roger Kneebone. It is an excerpt from a surgical re-enactment of an open cholecystectomy (a procedure now performed laparoscopically). Note the way the theatre sister knows, without being asked for it, the instrument the surgeon requires next; she is familiar with the surgeon’s particular requirements, after working almost exclusively in the same surgical team over many years. This is a way of working that disappeared with the EU Working Time Directive, which placed strict limits on working patterns. Now theatre teams routinely introduce themselves to one another before an operation, and these close relationships are not formed. Documentation of this particular operation, therefore, yielded unexpected insight about the historical relationships between people and instruments, and captured an otherwise extinct social dynamic and way of working.
Craddock, P. (2013). Florence Thomas (Interview Excerpt). London: Imperial College, London.
We came to interview Mrs. Thomas under the impression that she was theatre sister to King George VI. Mrs. Thomas was a nurse, but was not, in fact, present at the King’s operation; she suffered from dementia and struggled to remember anything, including her name. When she was presented with artery forceps, however, she recognised them immediately and was able to hold and operate them naturally.
Due to the delicate nature of this encounter, the video is private and password-protected for use in pre-agreed situations. Password: artery.
Craddock, P. (2015a). John Wickham on Haptics. London: Imperial College, London.
Mr. Wickham insists in this clip that a modern surgeon needs only to see, not to touch. He relegates the sense of touch to ‘the 1890s’. I have recorded Mr. Wickham – a pioneer of laparoscopic surgery – on many occasions, where he showed me instruments he designed in collaborations with manufacturing, and where he showed me these instruments in use in reenactments. On every occasion, he clearly uses the sense of touch in operating the instrument. The camera picked this up, though he never recognises or expressed the value of touch in any interview.
See, for example: https://vimeo.com/175356781
I refer to this as an example of where a historical frame such as the one I propose to create would influence the significance drawn from an interview. Wickham of course uses his sense of touch, but it is now enmeshed with the laparoscope; without a historically-grounded idea of the role of touch, one might simply accept Wickham’s reading that he does not rely on an ‘outmoded’ sense.
Craddock, P. (2015b). Objects in Use: the Sextant. London: Science Museum, London.
Nina Baker was one of the first female navigational officers in the Royal Navy. In this clip, she is exploring sextants in the collection of the Science Museum in London. She addresses her instrument expertly, scooping it up, while the historian of science (who has never used a sextant, though knows much about them), tentatively approaches the object, his touch guided more by museum object-handling training than embodied knowledge about the instrument.