The analysis of material processes is a key component of contemporary art practice. Process has not been foregrounded in much anthropological analysis. The session analyzes material and processual accounts of archaeological imagery, and argues that focusing on image making accesses world making.
An interest in art and imagery has been part of archaeological research ever since the antiquarian paradigm. Traditionally, archaeological art has been interpreted in representational terms, that is art or imagery is believed to refer to or simply to signify something. This approach has tended to direct attention away from the material character of images, or the art in itself. Such reasoning not only downplays the importance of the material (which is of course the core business of archaeologists) but also its potency and potentiality. Rather than thinking of art or imagery as something static, and in terms of representation, we want to move beyond these narrow confines. New understandings of art and imagery emerge from processual understanding of materials and materialities (e.g. Barrett and Bolt 2013; Bynum 2011; Jones 2012; Lucas 2012, Alberti et. al. 2013, Ingold 2013; Gosden and Malafouris 2015), and an exploration of the implications of a symmetry between image making and world making (e.g Alberti 2012; Back Danielsson et. al. 2012; Jones and Cochrane Forthcoming). This panel welcomes contributions from all disciplines who wish to explore the processual qualities and ontological dimensions of art and imagery, and how such perspectives might alter our accounts of art and imagery both in the past and in the present. This panel aims to foster dialogue between archaeologists, anthropologists and contemporary art practitioners.