As part of my postdoc, I’ve been making short videos highlighting the research of the PhD fellows associated with EUROTAST. These are mixtures of footage that was shot previously, my own footage, and Creative Commons found footage.
They have been a challenge to make. Finding the proper visuals and music to accompany the incredibly sensitive research on genetics, identity and the difficult heritage of the Transatlantic Slave Trade has made the creative process much slower and considered than usual.
Still, I’m relatively pleased with how they’ve come out, considering they’re such a mixture of visual and audio resources.
Anies Hassan dropped me a line about a new series of videos he’s making about the Thames Discovery Project. He’s getting pretty slick with his production techniques! Oh, and the archaeology is interesting as well…if you like that muddy, cold, London type of archaeology! (don’t hit me!)
Credit the music and slap a CC license on it and I’ll be a happy girl.
I finally got around to uploading more of the movie we made (So You’re an Archaeologist?!) for the Afghanistan display at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
Sadly, I only got through the first two videos before I promptly threw away the main file I was working with to make more space on my hard drive. After I get the source video from Dave (again!) I’ll post the rest of it.
And, if you’re up for a little bit of surrealist ethnography, here’s Las Hurdes or Land Without Bread, one of the movies we’re going to watch as part of our Ethnographic Movie Night next Fall. More about that later.
Meg Conkey, Ruth Tringham, Henrietta Moore, and Alison Wylie were asked to speak at Cambridge for the Personal Histories in Archaeological Theory and Method series, and happily there is video of the talk. If you’ve never had an archaeological theory class, these women are all formative thinkers in feminist, structuralist and post-processual archaeology. I uploaded the first part to youtube and will upload the other two parts later today, but if you are impatient for the rest, go here for the files. I chose to go to Berkeley in part because of the presence of women in the department at all faculty levels, two of whom are speaking in this video (and, incidentally, are on my dissertation committee!).
This first segment is great–Meg Conkey and Henrietta Moore introduce themselves (they decided to go in alphabetical order, but also by height) and there’s a pan to Colin Renfrew in the audience. I wish I could have been there, but even more I wish I could have been out to drinks with all of them afterwards!
So if you have any interest at all in feminism and archaeology, you might want to check these personal stories out.
After writing a hundred pages or so for my field statements, due a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been a little short on words. It’s slowly coming back to me though, and Spring Break is helping immensely. I’ve been reading and taking notes in preparation for my orals, and it’s been a luxurious break from the usual hustle of the semester.
I often wish I had Bill and Ted’s phone booth so I could steal away to read, say, Derrida’s corpus, or watch a few hundred ethnographic films, but when I actually do manage to free up some time, I’m often too exhausted to do very much. So this break has been nice–I’m actually taking time to absorb some of the things that I read through in a rush to finish my field statements. And while the ethnographic films are out of reach (there’s nothing deader than an out-of-date ethnographic film on VHS in the two-hour-loan section of the library, I swear) I have been finding a few gems on youtube.
So, a rescored, remixed The Man With the Movie Camera, one of the few movies made as an explictly theoretical exercise exploring cinematic language. I’m delighted that it’s been chopped up and put on youtube–a relaxing break from these pesky words.
This photo of a “Indiana Harbor Belt R.R. switchman demonstrating signal with a fusee, used at twilight and dawn when visibility is poor” was taken in 1943, and found on Shorpy.com. Click on it to view the incredible beauty of the full size.
These traces of light are so evocative and so ephemeral–as anyone who ran around with a sparkler and traced their name into the sky could attest. Urban lightwriting first appeared on my radar from my interest in graffiti and placemaking, a subject I touched on briefly in previous posts (and in a few papers).
It seems that there is now an open source instrument for live performance drawing and animation called Tagtool that I am trying my best to spec out for this summer for some live, night-time annotation of a certain Neolithic mound.
Being able to lightwrite what once was on top of what is could be a fascinating opportunity for interpretation and performance in archaeology. I’ll reiterate something I’ve been saying for a while:
I uploaded another one of my videos to youtube so that I could show it in class tomorrow. I’m taking over half the lecture from Ruth, to tell the students a bit about archaeology and new media, since that’s the way that most of them will experience archaeology, outside of television.
It’s not my best editing job (it’s from Fall ’06), but it will have to do for now. Remind me to take a better microphone to Turkey next year.
I’m reusing my 2007 SAA slides, even though they are woefully outdated. (Banksy? Who cares about him anymore?)
Title: Art, Archaeology and Technology: Current Experiments in Interpretation Archaeologists have been rapidly integrating new media technologies into their interpretive schemes through a variety of methods. Virtual worlds, social networking websites, blogs, wikis, and digital photo mash-ups are becoming legitimate alternate ways to present archaeological information. Lower entry points for remixing photography, film, and databases into multimodal presentations increase the potential for archaeologists to use these media to tell their own stories. This, combined with a growing ubiquity of online media platforms, allows us to reach out to new publics by integrating archaeology into a greater social sphere. Situated in a conference that is fully engaged with questions regarding the future of archaeology, this session explores current and future interpretive projects inspired by new media art and technology. In this exploration we will discuss alternate narratives, collective actions and what it means to be an archaeologist in the digital age. Alternate forms of papers and presentations such as films or websites are welcomed.
Presentations should be 15 minutes long and will be followed by remixes of the content by the discussants.
Contact: Colleen Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dr. Christine Finn (C.A.Finn@bradford.ac.uk), or Dr. Ruth Tringham (email@example.com) regarding interest and participation in the session.