Benjamin, McLuhan, Foys


As we experience the new electronic and organic age with ever stronger indications of its main outlines, the preceding mechanical age becomes quite intelligible.  Now that the assembly line recedes before the new patterns of information, synchronized by electric tape, the miracles of mass-production assume entire intelligibility….What will be the new configurations of mechanisms and of literacy as these older forms of perception and judgment are interpenetrated by the new electric age?

– Marshall McLuhan, excerpted by Martin K. Foys.

Martin K. Foys’ work on medieval tapestries as “hypertextiles” is an enormous influence on the way I have been conceptualizing new media and archaeological interpretation.  Many people have used new media to communicate archaeological interpretations, but not as many have used new media theory to interpret archaeological materials.  I see it as a co-constructive process–to create new media objects to aid in interpretation is to create a narrative of archaeological interpretation, which changes the way that we see the material record.

Can you tell that I’ve been writing my dissertation prospectus? I keep telescoping between great excitement and great dread, all in the small space of my chair in front of the computer.

Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

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