S04
An artful integration? Possible futures for archaeology and creative work

Convenors:
Patrick Hadley (Enkyad Heritage Media)
Mhairi Maxwell (University of Bradford)
Chair:
Tim Taylor
Location:
Wills 3.30
Start time:
17 December, 2010 at 14:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This session aims to demonstrate the fantastic work that can come from bringing art, sound, performance and other creative work into archaeology. This integration can be seen in subject matter, method and theory. We hope to examine and improve the future for both creative work and archaeology.

Long abstract:

This session aims to examine what steps may be necessary to recognise the value and utility of creative work for and in archaeology. Creative work (eg, visual and digital art, sound, performance, story) has often, but sporadically, been conducted in addition to archaeological work and many recognise its value, particularly for wider audiences. Formal text remains the accepted norm for archaeological work and there is a sense that anything different is epistemologically inferior. Formal archaeological texts and creative work process ideas in varied ways; text's strengths are describing, quantifying, explaining, dividing... Creative works evoke, embody, resonate, represent... Like many archaeologists, we believe that the ideas engaged by creative works cannot be effectively processed by formal texts. Neuro-psychology suggests this may be due to the ways 'intuitive intelligences' operate in the brain. The whole of archaeology, from fieldwork to interpretation, can benefit from engagement with creative work. We seek positive ways of integrating creative work into the archaeological discourse. Creative contributions will be particularly welcome. Issues that may stimulate contributors include: Archaeology is Art: Are there underplayed creative elements in accepted archaeological practice? Or ways in which archaeology can contribute to creative endeavour? Transparent reasoning and rigour: The strength of formal text is its transparency of reasoning. Do creative works necessarily obscure reasoning? Invisible humanity: What are the risks in portraying elements of the past invisible to archaeology? Skills for creativity: How can archaeologists learn to interact with and interrogate creative work as a valued contribution to the field?