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Michael Shanks: Archaeologies of the contemporary past
"The origin of many of the ideas here can be tracked back to Reconstructing Archaeology written with Chris Tilley, particularly through my book Experiencing the Past - where I sketched the elements of a contemporary archaeolgical sensibility - see now The Archaeological Imagination - a new work revisiting these matters."

"Embodiment and archaeologies of the ineffable: photographs and archaeological objects can introduce the heterogeneous and ineffable into discourse, that richness and detail in every photograph and artefact which lies outside the categories and schemes of discourse. I use the term embodiment to introduce bodily sensitivity as a means of suspending our conventional categorisations and a means of achieving more textured understanding of social realities. Photographs and artefacts can help us attend to materiality by saying "look at what has been omitted", rather than "look, believe this text". An imperative here is to keep open things which are passed over in an instant. Archaeological source materials are, after all, of a material world with a distinctive temporality. The challenge is to work with this.

To end then I extend an invitation to conceive of the dialectical text and image as tangent to the past - a vector (from the present) touching the past at the point of sense and then moving off to explore its own course, partaking of actuality, the temporality of memory. Such texts are part of a method which lends contexts of all sorts to images, words and artifacts. Good archaeology is such a humanistic discipline which is dialectical because it denies the dualisms of past and present, objective and subjective, real and fictive, with all their pernicious variations. We may work instead upon the continuities which run through our encounters with the shattered remains of the dead."
christilley  michaelshanks  archaeology  photography  documentation  anthropology  past  present  words  artifacts  memory  time  humanism  humanities  dialectic  dialog  sensitivity  discourse  temporality  via:selinjessa  dialogue  vectors 
march 2013 by robertogreco

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