TAG 2011: 33rd annual meeting of the Theoretical Archaeology Group
CASPAR session: Dr Web-Love: Or, How I Learnt to Stop Worrying & Love Social Media
Birmingham | 14-16 December 2011
Social media are tools that facilitate information sharing, interaction and community-forming over the internet. For archaeology, they can and are contributing to all of these in both the professional and voluntary sectors of archaeology and heritage, and when used as a public engagement tool. This TAG session, organised by Lorna Richardson (UCL), drew on theoretical perspectives from Public Archaeology, big-data approaches and research into the interface between society and technology. The theory was then supplemented with methodology and practice to help archaeologists from all backgrounds (especially technophobes!) understand how social media might affect their work. The importance of developing and sustaining audiences, and measuring the impact of the use of social media as a tool for public engagement was especially highlighted. Morning papers were followed by a short afternoon practical session led by experienced digital archaeologists. These sessions provided a chance to explore social media tools in an archaeological context, and consult digitally-minded archaeologists about the ways in which to apply the theory to practice, and how web-based tools can help with their work.
CASPAR sponsorship of the Day of Archaeology 2011 project
The Day of Archaeology 2011 aimed to give a window into the daily lives of archaeologists. Written by over 400 contributors, it chronicled what they did on one day, 29 July 2011, from those in the field through to specialists working in laboratories and behind computers. This special event was organised by Andrew Dufton (L – P: Archaeology), Stuart Eve (L – P: Archaeology/ UCL), Tom Goskar (Wessex Archaeology), Matt Law (Cardiff University/ C & N Hollinrake Ltd.), Jessica Ogden (L – P: Archaeology), Daniel Pett (Portable Antiquities Scheme/ The British Museum/ UCL), Lorna Richardson (UCL /CBA London).
Archaeologists & the Digital: Towards Strategies of Engagement Workshop
CASPAR & Archaeology and Communication Research Network
UCL Institute of Archaeology | 16 May 2011
This workshop, organised by Chiara Bonacchi, proposed various ‘strategies’ via which archaeologists may engage the non-specialist public through digital media experiences. Contributions identified some of the most promising uses of digital technologies in different domains of archaeological communication and the benefits they can generate for participants; each use was presented through one or more case studies, highlighting how these media experiences were designed and consumed and what characteristics can be accounted for the benefits that they have generated. The final discussion provided space for debating proposed ‘strategies’, their criticalities and margin of repeatability. The potential, for archaeologists, to use digital technologies for an ‘unfiltered’ communication with the public was explored, with attention paid to understand the public’s consumption of communication.
- CASPAR sponsorship of the Institute of Archaeology Research Seminar Series
UCL Institute of Archaeology | January-March 2011
The seminar series, organised by Chiara Bonacchi and Tim Schadla-Hall, explored issues related to the audiovisual communication of archaeology, with a focus on the UK. It looked at aspects pertaining to the commissioning, production and distribution of television and radio programmes, looking at how these have changed from the early days of the small screen (1950-1960s) up to present. Audiences’ profiles and their behaviours in respect to audiovisual experiences of archaeology have also been examined diachronically. The role of digital technologies was investigated from various points of view, from technological to theoretical.
TAG 2010: 32nd annual meeting of the Theoretical Archaeology Group
CASPAR session: Audio-visual practice-as-research in archaeology
Bristol | 17-19 December 2010
In this session, organised by Greg Bailey (Bristol University) and Andrew Gardner, the Centre for Audio-Visual Study and Practice of Archaeology (CASPAR) brought together current archaeological practice-as-research and investigated 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 investigated 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 focused 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.