VIA – Visualisation in Archaeology

During WAC I was lucky enough to meet Sara Perry, a fellow PhD candidate who is also interested in photography and media/self representations of archaeology (among many other things).  She let me know about this conference in Southampton in October, Visualisation in Archaeology:

http://www.viarch.org.uk/

From the webpage:

Images are intimately linked to the theory and practice of archaeology. The epistemological nature of their deployment within the profession has typically revolved around the supportive means of effectively picturing, ordering and understanding the complexity of archaeological data. More recently, researchers have reflected upon the process of image production and the problematic relationship between images and knowledge creation.

Visualisation in Archaeology has been established in order to provide a ‘space’ in which high quality research can be undertaken around interrelated themes centred on visual communication in archaeology. To this end the project team comprises a robust cross-section of specialists drawn from different fields of study to critically explore the production, the form and the organisational power of images in archaeology and to re-think the boundaries of that exploration.

I submitted this abstract, while still at Çatalhöyük over the summer:

Anna’s Shoulders: Visualization and Ekphrasic Narrative at Çatalhöyük, 1961-2008

Visually documented for almost fifty years, Çatalhöyük has become lacquered by multiple layers of archaeological interpretive gaze.  The images taken at Çatalhöyük provide an excellent test case to further a visual methodology for investigating scopic regimes within major theoretical and technological shifts in archaeology.  Using a method of visual content analysis developed by Kress and Van Leeuwen (1996), I hope to illustrate these shifts as well as provide a more rigorous methodology for site photography.  Additionally, I will discuss visual narrative building in the practice of interpretation and a possible way to illustrate this iterative and highly contextual process.

Kress, G. and T. Van Leeuwen
1996    Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. Routledge, London.

The reference to “Anna” above is to Anna Karenina–a character who has been the object of men’s gaze until her shoulders were lacquered with their many layers of desire.  I spoke about performative, extemporaneous, archaeological narrative with a new professor in Performance Studies and New Media last night, and she had some really interesting suggestions for readings but also possible media projects that she would be interested in pursuing with me.  I still need to hammer together a lot of my video from this summer, but we’ll see.

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