In this session, the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice of Archaeology (CASPAR) brings together current archaeological practice-as-research and investigates the interplay between screen-based technologies and archaeological knowledge.
Practice-as-research has had a significant impact on UK research cultures across higher education and arts sectors since the mid-1990s. Arguably, Cornelius Holtorf's 1998 hypermedia history of megaliths was the first practice-based PhD in archaeology: it explored the potential of then-new CD-Rom technology to present different ways of telling archaeology. Since then, a growing number of practitioner-researchers have begun to draw upon the histories and practices of film, video and new media in order to consider the ways in which media produce specific archaeological forms. In this session, the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice of Archaeology (CASPAR) brings together current archaeological practice-as-research and investigates the interplay between screen-based technologies and archaeological knowledge to think through some of the implications of Friedrich Kittler's announcement that 'media determine our situation, which - in spite or because of - deserves a description' (1999, Gramophone, Film, Typewriter). The session will investigate moving image practices as they create archaeological materials and subjectivities. These practices include archaeo-landscape reconstructions in computer games, computer-aided visualisation, the televisual familiarity of Time Team graphics and the conventions of documentary film and TV. Established and emerging methods and technologies can aim to: record, preserve, and reconstruct archaeological artefacts and landscapes; present archaeological site interpretations; model change and resilience; and represent scientific archaeological knowledges. This session focuses on practice to explore how technologies of the virtual materialise specific and often messy sciences (John Law, 2004, After Method: Mess in Social Science Research, Routledge), which in turn frame archaeological possibilities.