Art and Archaeology collide in drawings

Delighted to see my co-authored paper with Stefan Gant is out in the Journal of Visual Art Practice today. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14702029.2017.1384974

In this article, we explore what we perceive as pertinent features of shared experience at the excavations of an Iron Age Hillfort at Bodfari, North Wales, referencing artist, archaeologist and examples of seminal art works and archaeological records resulting through interdisciplinary collaboration. We explore ways along which archaeological and artistic practices of improvisation become entangled and productive through their different modes of mark-making. We contend that marks and memories of artist and archaeologist alike emerge interactively, through the mutually constituting effects of the object of study, the tools of exploration and the practitioners themselves, when they are enmeshed in cross-modally bound activities. These include, but are not limited to, remote sensing, surveying, mattocking, trowelling, drawing, photographing, videoing and sound recording. These marks represent the co-signatories: the gesture of the often anonymous practitioners, the voice of the deposits, as well as the imprint of the tools, and their interplay creates a multi-threaded narrative documenting their modes of intra-action, in short, our practices. They occupy the conceptual space of paradata, and in the process of saturating the interstices of digital cognitive prosthetics they lend probity to their translations in both art form and archive.

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Digital Practice at CAA Tubingen

CAA2018 banner

The Call for Papers for CAA 2018 to be held in Tübingen, 19th-23rd March, 2018 is open until 29th October 2017. There are two exciting sessions focusing on Digital Practice and Digital Scholarship in archaeology. Both these sessions in their different ways explore the value of digital practice to the discipline and to practitioners.

To save you looking, I have attached them below. We welcome all view points. If you would like to deliver a 15 minute viewpoint or 5 minute flash statement at the round table, or present a 10 minute paper please make your submission here or contact me.

S3 Digital Archaeology Scholars in a Changing World: Problems, Perspectives, and Challenges

Advances in the use of digital and computational methods in archaeology have encouraged great hope among archaeological computing practitioners regarding the potential of digital archaeology to transform archaeology as a discipline. Such an optimism was apparent in the diverse response received at the “Challenging Digital Archaeology” sessions organised in CAA 2014 and CAA 2015 (Hugget 2015 https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/opar.2014.1.issue-1/opar-2015-0003/opar-201 5-0003.xml). Nonetheless, positive views on the future of digital archaeology often come into contrast with the reality in academia for most archaeological computing practitioners, who sometimes face significant challenges in making their work accepted as genuine archaeological research and are often considered as “hybrid scholars”. Digital archaeology specialists often find themselves into an in-between space comprised of two or more disciplines, trying to create their own distinct identity, demonstrate their value, and get credit for their contributions to these fields. Academic hierarchies, conservatism, and established processes and practices are only a few of the challenges that hinder digital archaeologists from securing their status in academia. At the same time, digital and computational approaches to archaeology have created continuous needs for new modes of research, evaluation, collaboration, teaching, and publication that don’t always conform well with traditional academic practices. The focus of this session is on the role of digital archaeology scholars in a changing world with constant transformations in the academic ecosystem. Participants in the session are expected to contribute short papers of no more than 10 minutes. A ten-minute discussion will follow after each talk, while the session will conclude with a general discussion (30 minutes). Contributions that discuss philosophical and theoretical aspects of digital practice and scholarship are especially encouraged, as well as reflective works drawing from personal experience in distinct digital archaeology fields. Some relevant topics include but are not limited to: -What is the value or potential of digital archaeology research and how this is reflected in or contrasted with perceptions of digital scholarship in the wider discipline of archaeology? -To what extent are digital outputs and digital creations (e.g agent-based models, virtual worlds etc. ) accepted as genuine archaeological research? -What is the contribution of digital archaeology to new forms of research (e.g. crowdsourcing) and teaching practices (e.g. MOOCs, SPOCs, serious games etc)? -In what ways trends in computational archaeology for open data and open software policies, as well as reproducible research, could transform archaeological scholarship and publication practices? -To what degree the role of Digital Archaeology practitioners ties in with the concepts of hybrid-scholars and alt-academics discussed in Digital Humanities?

Eleftheria Paliou, Jeremy Huggett, Konstantinos Papadopoulos

S7 What is the Value of Digitally Mediated Archaeology?

For more than six decades archaeologists have been exploring the power of computer-based methods and digital technologies to advance archaeological inquiry and practice. Successive cohorts of CAA members have been, quite rightly, anxious to articulate the relevance and impact of their work to archaeology in general. However, Costopoulos in ‘Digital Archeology Is Here (and Has Been for a While)’ Frontiers in Digital Humanities 3:4 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fdigh.2016.00004 suggests that there has been too great a focus on debating digital approaches and tools as objects of study and argues that far more emphasis should be placed on articulating the practical benefits of deploying digital tools in archaeology. In this Round Table session we ask “what is the value of digitally mediated archaeological practice?” We will question whether digital archaeology is merely the latest ephemeral fashion – just another technological fetishism, a significant upgrade to traditional methods, or an important new paradigm for archaeological practice. This round table welcomes participants from all segments of archaeological practice including but not limited to university-, state-, museum-, commercial unit-, and public-archaeology.  This format of this Round Table will be a series of pairs or triplets of presenters offering short points of view (c.15 minutes or less) followed by periods of moderated discussion, chaired in rotation by the organisers. We also welcome ‘flash statements’ (less than five minutes). The session will be concluded with an open dialogue based on the accumulated discussion and a wrap-up report by one of the organisers, summarising the discussion and suggesting follow-ups. Some potential discussion points: What benefits does digital archaeology offer? How do we evaluate it? How should we evaluate effectiveness and impact compared with traditional techniques? How might we best monitor and track progress? What new benefits could we propose to archaeology more generally? How does digital archaeology better connect us to other disciplines, the heritage sector and the public? Please contact the organisers if you wish to offer a point of view or flash statement.

Daria Hookk, Paul Reilly, Jeremy Huggett, Irina Grevtsova, Sorin Hermon, Franco Niccolucci

 

Digital Visualisation Beyond the Image: Archaeological Visualisation Making in Practice

Thanks to the extraordinary generous community minded Doug Rocks-Macqueen for making our TAG session (5) Dara Visualisation Beyond the image more generally available. A credit to our profession!

Doug's Archaeology

A session on digital archaeology that we filmed at the TAG conference:

Gareth Beale, University of York and Paul Reilly, University of Southampton

The emergence of digital visualisation and representation has led to some of the most significant developments in archaeological practice of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While a great deal has been written about digital visualisations, very little has been written about the way in which they are produced. This session constitutes an exploration of the diverse and often highly personal stories of practice which constitute digital visualisation making. We will examine the craft of digital visualisation making in its broadest sense, allowing for wider and more nuanced connotations (e.g. imagination and conceptualisation) and for other mechanisms for receiving impressions or conceiving representations of things, in other words multi-modalities of perception including haptic, sonic and olfactory stimuli. We invite contributions which question the passive and neutral…

View original post 1,744 more words

Annihilation Event – Digital Old Minster, the archaeology of a digital file

From the 22nd to the 29th March 2017 there is a really great event at the Lethaby Galleries near Kingscross St Pancras, London. Called Annihilation Event, it’s billed as having “no singular origin, but many strands and streams.  This is a project about copies, prints, scans, derivations, reconstructions, casts, and virtual models. The 6 day programme in the Lethaby Gallery will bring together a contrary group of artists, archivists, archaeologists, historians, technical experts and theorists from all over Europe.” Go and pay a visit.

I put two annihilation events into constellation here. One was a talk about the ontological status of casting the voids left by Pompeiians in the aftermath of Vesuvius’ eruption in CE 79. The other was the eradication of the Saxon Priory Cathedral of Winchester in 1093/4. I have already blogged and co-authored an article about the finding and restoration of the digital files of the “Old Minster”.  It’s significance is that its the earliest known virtual tour of a constructive solid model (CSG) re-imagination of what was probably the largest building in Europe at the time, before the Normans demolished it and replaced it with the edifice you can visit in the city today.

For this event, I worked with renowned sculptor Ian Dawson based at the Winchester School of Art to create a new instantiation of the Digital Old Minster of Winchester (see figure 1).

 

Figure 1: Digital Old Minster, the archaeology of a digital file, 2017, Paul Reilly & Ian Dawson.

The biography of the Digital Old Minster assemblage not only endures but continues to throw out new threads; this stage moves the 3D print into an art work.

Also in the exhibition, through the help of my collaborators on the original digital restoration project, namely Stephen Todd and Andy Walter, is a VR exhibit of the Digital Old Minster in which some exhibits have been placed. Visitors are invited to explore this exhibition space.

I’m thrilled that parts of our exhibit are in the exhibition and parts of the exhibition are in our exhibit!

Everyone is welcome to visit. Please do!

Different expressions of the same mode: apprehending the world through practice, and making a mark

TAGsoton next week. I’m presenting in session 5 with my friend and collaborator Stefan Gant from the Department of Fine Art in the University of Northampton.

We will explain more in the session I’m co-Organising with Gareth Beale who is Digitally Creative in Archaeology at the University of York

If you are at TAG on Wednesday 21st December 2016 Please join us in Session 5 & 10

S5. Digital Visualisation beyond the Image: Archaeological Visualisation Making in Practice

This is the abstract for our paper

Different expressions of the same mode: apprehending the world through practice, and making a mark

In this paper we discuss pertinent features of shared experience at the excavations of an Iron Age Hillfort at Bodfari, North Wales, referencing artist, archaeologist and examples of seminal art works and archaeological records resulting through the collaboration. We explore ways along which archaeological and artistic practices of improvisation become entangled and productive through their different modes of mark making. We contend that marks and memories of artist and archaeologist alike intra-actively emerge through the object of study, the tools of exploration, and the practitioners themselves, when they are enmeshed in the cross-modally bound activities of remote sensing, surveying, mattocking, troweling, drawing, photographing, videoing, sound recording, and so on. These marks represent the signatures of the often anonymous practitioners, the voice of the deposits as well as the imprint of the tools, and their interplay creates a multi-threaded narrative documenting their modes of intra-action, in short their practices. They occupy the conceptual space of paradata, and in the process of saturating the interstices of cognitive artefacts they lend probity to their translations in both art form and archive.

Qian specular.jpg

RTI of seminal artwork by stefan “Linear Phrasing, Gant, S. 2016. Card” Here I’m reappropriating my hand gestures and illuminating them virtually…

CfP TAG2017 Session – Digital Visualisation Beyond the Image: archaeological visualisation making in practice

 TAGSoton Call for Papers are open until 15 Nov 2017 

I’m organising a session with Gareth Beale on

“Digital Visualisation Beyond the Image: archaeological visualisation making in practice”

Abstract:

The emergence of digital visualisation and representation has led to some of the most significant developments in archaeological practice of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. While a great deal has been written about digital visualisations, very little has been written about the way in which they are produced. This session constitutes an exploration of the diverse and often highly personal stories of practice which constitute digital visualisation making. We will examine the craft of digital visualisation making in its  broadest sense, allowing for wider and more nuanced connotations (e.g. imagination and conceptualisation) and for other mechanisms for receiving impressions or conceiving representations of things, in other words multi-modalities of perception including haptic, sonic and olfactory stimuli. We invite contributions which question the passive and neutral character of the visualisation maker and which draw attention to human variability in perception. We are also keen to include explorations of teaching, learning and translation.

Contributions from across the spectrum of archaeological visualisation making are encouraged including practitioners in “artisitic”, “scientific” and “interpretative” styles. We also wish to highlight the importance of ‘non-expert’ digital visualisation making and the role of digital visualisation in everyday archaeological discourse.

Got to http://www.southampton.ac.uk/tag2016/index.page submit your proposal

Digital Archaeology – Where are we and how do we fit in?

reilly-beale-ia-fig-2I was delighted to learn the multi-thread, multi-format session proposed by myself and my colleagues John Pouncett and Steve Stead to CAA Atlanta (March 14-16, 2017) has been accepted (http://caaconference.org/program/sessions/#title14). It seems to be a natural response to one of the main obstacles to making progress on the disciplinary “Grand Challenges” in digital archaeology that we have been discussing these last three years; namely, getting one’s arms around the challenge. This is an attempt to break the elephant-sized obstacle down into bite-sized pieces!

CAA 2017 Session Proposal: Digital Archaeology – Where are we and how do we fit in?

Abstract: Digital technologies are integral to many facets of current practice in archaeology (universities, field units, museums, archives, CRM etc). However, we see little evidence of disciplinary-wide coordinated programmes but clear indications of fractures and silos. For example, spatial data collected in the field is typically held separate from what we might call the rest of the archive. The result is a kludge of technologies and applications with no clear overview of what is available (let alone best of breed or best value) and, equally important, what is needed.

The premise of this multi-format/session thread is that we need to bring clarity to the CAA membership and the wider archaeological community regarding where, how and what archaeological computing and digital technologies are available to benefit the discipline, and where there are gaps or opportunities to add most value. As far as we are aware there is no high-level enterprise, business, process or functional model of the discipline of archaeology showing how it fits together together and functions. Consequently, there are no maps elucidating where archaeological computing or digital archaeology plays a significant role.

The aim of this thread is to catalyse a dialogue which will produce a high level model of our discipline, allowing us to start the process of identifying and mapping our assets and resources. To this end we are proposing a three-stage community effort at CAA Atlanta with three session formats to start the dialogue between practitioners:

  • Stage/Session 1. We invite individuals and groups to send a single page diagrammatic description of the discipline (block diagram, flow chart, Value chain etc) to p.reilly@soton.ac.uk. Each model will be displayed as part of a “poster” session, and CAA members are encouraged to leave comments/questions using post-its;
  • Stage/Session 2. A moderated forum where, following a position paper, each poster contributor briefly presents their model (max 5 mins each) leading to a moderated, minuted discussion;
  • Stage/Session 3. A facilitated ‘birds of a feather’ session in which small groups each develop selected parts of a consensus model and begin mapping assets and resources, and document issues.

Hope to discuss this with you in Atlanta! Thanks for your interest.