Over the last three years I have been doing the most irregular ethnography ever, from a position as a non-researcher in a regional innovation program in Norway. There is reason to believe that the demand for so-called applied ethnography is rising, and that increasingly cultural researchers will be offered opportunities to apply their academic knowledge in different practical situations. This article presents experiences of applied work in one particular case, raising discussions on how this challenges the classic role of the researcher. What happens when one is not only dealing with analyzing discourses and structures (culture as text), how things happen or not (culture as praxis), but when one is actually part of making things happen? In conclusion, I examine how well classic ethnographic methods work toward establishing solid knowledge-based praxis, at the same time as finding it uncomplicated to address the applied praxis field through rather disconnected discourses.
Keywords: creative and cultural industries, innovation, researcher role, irregular ethnography