Category Archives: archaeology

Intermission

Followers of this blog will have noticed my posts are getting progressively thinner and thinner – the direct consequence of my thesis draft getting progressively thicker and thicker. This year I am ‘writing up’ and hope to deliver both the final thesis and more publications come Christmas. In the interim you can still find me tweeting regularly @archdox, and rediscovering any religion that will throw some luck my way:

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CAA 2018 CFP: Making the Most of Film and Video in Archaeology

[UPDATE: CFP has been extended until November 5 11:59 PM CET].

I’m delighted to announce the call for papers for the Making the Most of Film and Video in Archaeology session, to be held at the Computing Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) international conference, March 19th and 23rd 2018 at the University of Tübigen, Germany. In this session we seek to bring archaeologists and computing specialists together to explore, problematize, and suggest creative but critically informed solutions to the challenges of integrating film and video into archaeological research designs.


MAKING THE MOST OF FILM AND VIDEO IN ARCHAEOLOGY

Keywords: Film, video, actuality, recording, filmmaking, digital archiving, databases, social media, online platforms, research design.

Despite the fact that archaeologists have experimented with various forms of filmmaking for a century we are still yet to develop a pragmatic approach to how best to integrate actuality film and video recording, editing, and archiving into our research project designs. As mediums merge and digital platforms multiply, as coders begin to replace film editors, as media technologies, standards, laws, and conventions shift – now is a timely moment to take stock and consider how we can make better use of actuality film and video in archaeological contexts. Key challenges include how to address the disconnected digital archives of historical archaeological film footage increasingly available online; how to better integrate drone, underwater, and site videography into archaeological research design and dissemination strategies; and how to better foster media literacy and skills among archaeologists tasked with researching, designing, recording, editing, managing, distributing, and digitally archiving film and video material.

This session seeks to cross industry and disciplinary boundaries by inviting archaeological scholars and computing specialists to problematise and bring fresh perspectives to the above issues by suggesting future directions for how we can make the most of digital actuality film and video in archaeology.

Suggested themes and topics include but are not restricted to:

  • Film and video as archaeological data.
  • Digital archiving, database management, and accessibility for archaeological films and videos.
  • Working with video files – what archaeologists need to know.
  • Using film and video in academic publishing.
  • The pros and cons of vlogging, social media, and online video platforms for archaeology.
  • Merging the mediums: approaches to combining actuality footage with animation, VR, AR and more.
  • Coding: the future of film editing? How we can futureproof digital archaeological storytelling.

Please note: the term ‘actuality’ is borrowed from the documentary industry and used here to describe non-fiction films and videos of actual people, places, and events – as distinct from animated or fiction films and videos.


The call for papers has just opened and will run until Sunday 29nd October 2017 Sunday 5th November 23:59 CET. Applicants will need to register with the CAA conference to submit your paper to our session. Abstracts for papers should be no more 250 words excluding session title, author names, affiliations, and email addresses and 3 – 5 keywords. Please note, the official language of the conference is English and all submissions should be in English. If English is not your first language, it is strongly suggested that you have a fluent English speaker review your abstract before submission.

You can find detailed instructions for how to submit at the CAA website.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Kate Rogers, University of Southampton, kate.rogers@soton.ac.uk

Dr James Miles, Archaeovision, james@archaeovision.eu

 

Shooting Archaeologists – in York!

Happy New Year and greeting from York! I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be giving another seminar about the Off The Record survey findings this Tuesday at 5:15 at the University of York, which you are welcome to attend in person or to stream online. This seminar expands on the paper I gave at the World Archaeology Congress last year and I’m very glad to be able to give more detail and context this time around, so if you came to WAC please still consider tuning in for the director’s cut, as it were.

Here is the spiel courtesy of Dr Sara Perry:

YOHRS returns next week with Kate Rogers (University of Southampton) on Shooting Archaeologists: Uncovering the Relationship Between Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking at 5.15pm, Tuesday 31 January in King’s Manor 159. Wine will be served from 5.15pm, with presentation starting at 5.30pm. Please join us in person or online!

Shooting Archaeologists: Uncovering the Relationship Between Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking
Tuesday 31 January 2017, 5.15pm
Speaker: Kate Rogers (University of Southampton)

Who calls the shots in archaeology documentaries – and why? This research investigates UK archaeology’s relationship with UK documentary filmmaking, historically, currently, and with an eye to future directions. Uniquely however, this relationship is considered from the angle of film production as seen from an archaeological perspective. The results from the 2016 ‘Off the Record: Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking’ survey will be presented and analysed, providing an up-to-date profile of the experiences and attitudes of UK archaeologists who have worked in archaeology documentaries between 2006 and 2016. This new evidence allows us to move the debate about archaeology’s representation in documentary from one primarily reliant on anecdote, to one grounded in evidence, enabling us to better define archaeology’s place within the media, and documentary’s place within archaeology.

Location: King’s Manor / 159

Free & open to all. Join us for wine at 5.15pm, with talk beginning at 5.30pm. This is a YOHRS (York Heritage Research Seminars) event live-streamed through http://www.youtube.com/uofyarchaeology

Please see the full schedule of YOHRS talks online at:

http://www.york.ac.uk/archaeology/news-and-events/events/external/heritage-research/

CFP: From amateurs to auteurs: in defence of authorship in archaeological visualisations

I’m very excited to announce that I’m working with digital artist and archaeologist Grant Cox, from ArtasMedia to bring a session about the importance of the creator’s voice in archaeological visualisations to the Theoretical Archaeology Group conference this December.

Here’s the spiel:

Archaeology borrows and adapts visualisation mediums and techniques from a range of artistic and creative practices including drawing, photography, film, gaming, digital animation and virtual reality. But do we take these visualisation practices as seriously as we do our scientific ones – or do we merely skim the surface of them, depriving ourselves of a deeper and more critical understanding of how the past is interpreted and understood? A key element of any art form, but arguably often side-lined in archaeology, is the visual author’s presence and ‘voice’. Following auteur theory, this house argues that the author’s voice in visual representations of archaeology deserves equal regard to that of the author’s voice in written archaeological works. Such a shift in values would necessitate archaeologists becoming more visually and technically literate in visual art-forms and industries in order to not only appreciate but meaningfully be able to critique and translate archaeological visualisations on a deeper level. Not only would this enhance the rights to the creators of archaeological visualisations (such as recognition, ownership and copyright), but it would also demand greater responsibility, transparency and accountability for the archaeological visualisations created.

This session invites practitioners of visual archaeologies and those who research visual representations of archaeology to critique and debate the above argument, interrogating the value and role of the author’s voice in visualising archaeology. We seek to include a range of visual forms and mediums, inclusive of but not limited to drawing, photography, video, film, gaming, digital animation, AR, VR and mixed-mediums. Archaeologists, artists, heritage professional, industry practitioners and those who straddle multiple roles are warmly welcome to submit. This session partners with TAG 2016’s art/digital/film exhibition ‘Sightations’, running on site throughout the TAG conference, and session speakers are warmly encouraged to display an example of their work in the exhibit. For more information on the exhibit please see ‘Sightations’ call for contributors.

If you’d like to be part of our session please send you name(s), affiliations, title of paper, and abstract of 250 words, to jeffers113@gmail.com or ker1g14@soton.ac.uk. We’re accepting submissions until November 15th. If you have any question please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and please share this page with anyone you think might be interested!

Shooting Archaeologists at WAC-8

Kon’nichiwa! Watashi wa Kokogaku-sha des. Sake wa doko des ka?

[Hello! I am an archaeologist. Where is the beer?]

Greetings from the 8th World Archaeology Congress, currently  underway in beautiful Kyoto, Japan. I’m going to give a short presentation introducing the Off The Record research project this coming Friday – perhaps if you’re at WAC you might care to come listen? Or if you have friends or colleagues at WAC who might be interested, you could be so kind as to point them in my direction? Sadly 15 minutes is barely enough to scratch the surface of the topic, but hopefully this will help wet folks appetites for more discourse about archaeology in the media!

Session: T08-E Showing Better Archaeology, Doing Better Archaeology

Room: RY321

Time: 9:00 – 11:00

The spiel (abstract):

“Shooting Archaeologists. Off the Record: Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking”

Who calls the shots in archaeology documentaries – and why? This paper investigates archaeology’s relationship with UK documentary filmmaking. Uniquely however, this relationship is considered from the angle of film production as seen from an archaeological perspective. The first stage of results from the ‘Off the Record: Archaeology and Documentary Filmmaking’ PhD research project will be presented, including up-to-date findings from a survey of UK archaeologists working in the documentary sector, reflecting on their experiences, values, concerns and hopes for the genre. This new evidence allows us to better determine archaeology’s place within the media, and documentary’s place within archaeology.

See you there!

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Even the Okonomiyaki comes with a trowel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Restoration – Reviewed

I’m currently sitting in the cafe beneath The Ashmolean in Oxford. It’s bustling with tourists, seniors and families taking a break from the collections above and the rain outside. I’ve taken refuge from the museum above because my mind has just been completely overloaded – and I haven’t even visited a single exhibition space yet. I’ve just come straight from seeing Elizabeth Price’s ‘A Restoration’: a video-art installation based on the archives of Sir Arthur Evans, the English archaeologist who excavated Crete’s Knossos in 1900. It’s a stunning artwork. Literally. Set in a dedicated dark space, surrounded by speakers and flashing phrenetically across two screens, the viewer is bombarded with successive layers of poetic narration (of a synthetic disembodied collective voice of imaginary administartors), percussive electronic music (think Yann Tiersen’s ‘Amelie’ soundtrack crossed with Jamie XX), and cleverly edited archival images (historical and modern photographs of artefacts, drawings, maps, graphics and clever animations bring to life both Minoan iconography as well as computer archival icons). In this way, like Alice through the rabbit hole, or Theseus in the labyrinth, ‘A Restoration’ takes you ever deeper into the world of the mysterious administrators.

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‘A Restoration’ is not a politically or culturally critical artwork – especially compared to some of the recent video-art installation works disentangling (post)-colonialism, museology and repatriation which I saw attached to the joint British Museum – National Museum of Australia exhibit (how I wish that exhibit had toured to the UK! I may have to write about that exhibit and its use of art and video too actually…). Instead, ‘A Restoration’ is a playful, gentle, exploratory, and softly satirical work, commenting more on the limitations of our ways of knowing and envisioning the past, and our possibly naïve attempts to reconstruct the past in some ideal form. It has a very European sensibility to it: testing but also ultimately propagating the notion of Knossos as the fount of European civilization, constructed seed by seed, brick by brick, person by person – as illustrated in the fragments composed together like a giant jigsaw puzzle of the past. It concludes somewhat ambiguously – which to me is a reminding that in the end our attempts to preserve the remains of the past can only be at best, temporary.

You can see a trailer of ‘A Reconstruction’ on the Guardian website, and on Elizabeth Price’s website. The exhibit continues for 5 more days until 15th March.

Marina Warner wrote a lovely essay on the exhibit, which was available on site as a pamphlet. Hopefully it will be published after the exhibit. Keep an eye out.