Human, Posthuman, Transhuman Digital Archaeologies…in the flesh!

EAA 2018 is upon us and we have an absolutely incredible line-up of papers for our session, Human, Posthuman, Transhuman Digital Archaeologies. We’ve decided to pre-circulate the papers amongst ourselves (and a few more publicly) and provide 5 minutes of presentation followed by 10 minutes of discussion. This was a bit of a compromise to stay on time, but still leave as much time as possible to discuss the ideas, as we are expecting to publish the session in the EJA. So, here’s the sesh:

Friday 7 September, 14:00 – 18:30, UB220

14:00 Introduction (Marta Diaz-Guardamino Uribe, Cardiff University; Colleen Morgan, University of York; Catherine Frieman, Australian National University)

14:15 Digital Paths to Reveal How Archaeologists Imagine/Construct the Past (Ruth Tringham, University of California, Berkeley)

14:30 Do Archaeologists Dream of Electric Sheep? (Annie Danis, University of California, Berkeley)

14:45 Discussion

15:00 Punk Archaeology, Slow Archaeology, and the Archaeology of Care (William Caraher, University of North Dakota)

15:15 The Enchantment of the Archaeological Record (Sara Perry, University of York)

15:30 “The Slow Regard of Silent Things…” Working Through Digital/Experimental Archaeologies/Deep Mapping (Benjamin Gearey, Orla-Peach Power University College Cork)

15:45 Discussion Slot

16:30 Avatars, Monsters, Cyborgs & Machines: A Posthuman Digital Archaeology (Colleen Morgan, University of York)

16:45 Close to the Bone: Digital Disruption and Practice Based Learning in the ANU Skullbook Project (Catherine Frieman, Katrina Grant, Terhi Nurmikko-Fuller, Sofia, Samper Carro, Australian National University)

17:00 Voices in the Making: Queer, Feminist Disruptions of (Digital) Archaeology (Katherine Cook, McMaster University)

17:15 Discussion Slot

17:30 Pushing the Boundaries of Epigraphic Knowledge: Digital Technologies for Recording, Analysing and Disseminating Roman Inscriptions (David Espinosa-Espinosa, Miguel Carrero-Pazos, University of Santiago de Compostela)

17:45 The Illusion of Immateriality: Towards a Posthuman View on Material Absence and Digital Presence in Roman Archaeology (Eva Mol, Brown University)

18:00 Ecologies of the Digital Synathrope: Selkie Wives and Buffalo Stones (Louisa Minkin, University of the Arts London)

The session will be video recorded and if anyone decides to tweet, we ask you to use: #S363

Here’s a jpg of the conference programme:

The Queer and the Digital: Critical making, praxis and play in digital archaeology

Gareth Beale & Paul Reilly’s session at TAG was filmed by Doug Rocks-MacQueen’s team of conference videographers, for which I am grateful. There are a host of great papers from that day from Jeremy Huggett, Paul Reilly & Stefan Gant, Rose Ferraby, Catriona Cooper, Nicole Smith, Tanya Freke, and more!

Watch all of those other presentations first, and then watch mine on queering digital archaeology:

Let me know how it is–I struggle to watch myself on video.

Changing Archaeological Conferences 2/2

Photo by Connor Rowe.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I took part in Heather Law’s Opening Dialogs in Archaeological Photography session on Saturday. Sadly it overlapped with my graffiti session, so I missed the bulk of the presentations. The gallery space was great though, and the session was archaeologists/photographers presenting their work while the small crowd followed around the room.

Ruth Tringham, presenting her photos at TAG2011. Photo by Allison Barden.

The format was very informal, with many of the presenters speaking extemporaneously. It was much more of a conversation than a critique, which was probably for the best. Most of the photos were not obviously archaeological, with scales or excavators working, but were more phenomenological. After typing a lot of words on this topic, I’ve come to the conclusion that archaeological photos need to do something archaeological. A pretty good rule of thumb: I have to be able to use something in the photograph to reconstruct (either verbally or virtually) the archaeological site.

Me, photo by Allison Barden.

I did something a little different with my photographs. As I’ve previously discussed, I put them into an album and set them up with a small, salvaged table and a lamp. I wanted to bring the viewer in, to have them engage with the physicality of the photographs in the album, in part to highlight the analog/digital disruption that was the primary theme of my work. I spoke about my creative process and got a few good questions from the gathered crowd. Adrian Praetzellis was particularly touched that I left one of the photos of the young family in the album, captioned appropriately. I’ll post a more in-depth discussion of the actual piece in a subsequent post.

Everyone that I heard from in the photo show really enjoyed it. Heather seems eager to do it again, and it would be nice to bring it outside of TAG to a larger audience.

The lessons from this session were more subtle – on the surface it could be compared to presenting a poster in a more structured setting. What distinguishes a photo session is the curatorial process of selecting, captioning, printing, and arranging photographs and the accompanying friction between artistic voice and archaeological vision. I also appreciated the directed discussion and greater interaction between presenter and audience.

USA TAG is in SUNY Buffalo next year and I hope to see more experimentation in the classic “conference” format.


TAG USA 2011: Archaeology of and in the Contemporary World

Archaeology of the contemporary world; contemporary theory in archaeology; archaeology and its contemporary social context; archaeology, popularly associated with a dusty past, is thoroughly embedded in the contemporary world.

TAG Berkeley invites participants to freely imagine ways in which archaeological theory, practice, politics, and publication articulate with “the contemporary”. Whether looking at how archaeology is represented in popular culture, how archaeologists are examining the events and processes taking place around us today, or how archaeological examination of even distant pasts is bound up in the perspectives of our present lives, archaeologists are not of another time: we are here and now, and our discipline speaks to that time and place.

Confirmed plenary speakers:
Rodney Harrison
Bonnie Clark
Deadline to submit session proposals: November 1

Conference venue: International House, University of California, Berkeley
Sponsored by the Archaeological Research Facility, University of California, Berkeley


SHA 2011 – January 5-9

The Society for Historical Archaeology is having their annual meeting in Austin this year and it’s hard to believe that I’m missing them, even though I don’t really do historical archaeology.  It’s not my speciality, though I’m very interested in archaeology in the contemporary setting and the SHAs can be a particularly fun and forward-looking meeting. Or so it seems from the preliminary program.

So, as I did with the SAA last year, I give you my picks for not-to-be-missed sessions at the SHA. Please go to them and tell me how they were!

Archaeologists As Activists: Moving Forward on a Practice of Activist Archaeology
Organizer(s): M. Jay Stottman Chair(s): M. Jay Stottman.  Panelist(s): Robert C. Chidester, Kim Christensen, David A. Gadsby, Barbara J. Little, W. Stephen McBride, Carol McDavid, Sarah E. Miller, Patrice L. Jeppson, Lori C.Stahlgren

Reinterpreting the “Domestic”: Household Archaeology Across Boundaries of Space, Time, and Disciplinary Divisions
Organizer(s): Emily D. Root-Garey, Nedra K. Lee Chair(s): Nedra K. Lee. Discussant(s): Jason Yaegar / Jamie C. Brandon Presenter(s): Maria Franklin / Nedra K. Lee / Deanna M. Riddick / Emily D. Root-Garey / Nadya Prociuk / Mary Jo Galindo / Miriam Tworek-Hofstetter / Karen E. McIlvoy / Debora Trein

Into the Cloud: Archaeology and Media in the Borderless Information World Organizer(s): Dennis I. Aig Chair(s): Dennis Aig
Panelist(s): Dennis Aig, Annalies Corbin, Sheli Smith, Keene Haywood, Katherine Martell

The Revelatory Power of an Artifact in Context
Organizer(s): Jamie C. Brandon Chair(s): Jamie C. Brandon Presenter(s): Jamie C. Brandon / Ryan M. VanDyke, Clete Rooney / Clete A. Rooney / Frederick Smith / C. Riley Auge / James M. Davidson / Rebecca Graff / Carl Carlson- Drexler

New Insights Into the Past: Advances in the Visualization of Archaeological Data Organizer(s): Lisa E. Fischer, Thomas G. Whitley Chair(s): Lisa E. Fischer, Thomas G. Whitley
Presenter(s): Lisa E. Fischer / Thomas G. Whitley / Lisa B. Randle / Jeffrey BarronGlover, Kelly Woodard, Johnny Waits / Nicole Wittig / Chad Keller, Worthy Martin, Peter Inker, Sarah Dylla / Christopher P. Redmann

Bridging Landscapes: Geographic Approaches to the Archaeologies of Landscape Organizer(s): Kevin Fogle, Andrew Agha, Jakob Crockett Chair(s): Kevin Fogle, Andrew Agha, Jakob Crockett
Discussant(s): Amy Mills / Martha Zierden Presenter(s): Richard H. Schein / Jakob D. Crockett / Nicolas R. Laracuente / Kevin Fogle / Andrew Agha / Linda M. Ziegenbein / M. Jay Stottman / Sarah Fayen Scarlett / Linda France Stine, Roy Stine

Neighborhood Archaeologies: Digging in Our Own Backyards
Organizer(s): Elizabeth Hoag, Emily Weglian Chair(s): Elizabeth Hoag, Emily Weglian Presenter(s): Elizabeth Hoag, Emily Weglian / Mallory Haas / Neil S. Price, Rick Knecht / Amy C. Kowal / James L. Flexner / C. Andrew Buchner / Anthony Vasquez, Frances Bright, Kim Christensen, Laurie A. Wilkie / James G. Gibb / Jeff Moates, Lorena Mihok, Zaida Darley

High Tech Archaeologies and Reconstructing the Past
Presenter(s): Erik A. Siedow / Alan D. Armstrong / Gwendolyn Moore / Andrea P. White / Thomas J. Nolan, Zada L. Law / Dean Goodman, Kent Schneider, Agamemnon Pantel, Noriaki Higashi / Joseph A. Evans / Jennie Sturm / Michael Drews, David Harder, Christopher Noll, Jeremy Hall / William R. Smith

(psst, SHA–you may want someone to get a new pdf uploaded–one without tracking changes!)

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