Fractured Media: Challenging the Dimensions of Archaeology's Typical Visual Modes of Engagement

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As new media technologies increasingly populate our toolkits, questions arise about whether archaeologists are yet even competent users of orthodox media. Prior to engaging with emerging tools, this paper takes one step back to probe the subtexts of traditional two-dimensional archaeological images. Of interest is whether the many implications of these images can be made poignant via personally manipulating and imposing upon their form and function. Influenced by the work of various playwrights, artists, anthropologists, cultural theorists, and archaeologists, this paper examines what is legitimate in our practices of picturing the past, and what it means to explicitly-perhaps illicitly-interfere with typical archaeological visuals. Via tentative experiments with assorted maps, photos and illustrations, I endeavour to turn these orthodox modes of engagement into more defiant tools of discovery and critique. Ultimately, my objective is to disrupt convention and prompt archaeologists to confront and respond to themselves (and their responsibilities to others) in their everyday interactions with media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-415
Number of pages27
JournalArchaeologies-Journal of the world archaeological congress
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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