Jonathan W. Gardner

Jonathan W. Gardner
The University of Edinburgh | UoE · Edinburgh College of Art

PhD
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art (University of Edinburgh).

About

22
Publications
2,522
Reads
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26
Citations
Introduction
My work examines the traces of large-scale landscape change, most recently considering the creation of artificial terrain through landfilling and dumping and how this becomes a form of heritage and creative practice. I also research the role of archaeology and heritage in international mega events (e.g. the Great Exhibition of 1851 and 2012 Olympics). Other research considers the archaeology sector as an 'industry' (with its own material culture) and the ethics of commercial/CRM archaeology.
Additional affiliations
October 2020 - present
The University of Edinburgh
Position
  • Fellow
August 2017 - December 2019
University College London
Position
  • Fellow
Description
  • https://www.ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/people/academic/jonathan-gardner
September 2014 - present
The Groundbreakers (community heritage project)
Position
  • Consultant
Description
  • -Developing activities and workshops for an HLF-funded community heritage program at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (based on my PhD research). -Providing archaeological advice to project coordinators on the history and archaeology of the Olympic Park
Education
September 2010 - September 2011
University College London
Field of study
  • Cultural Heritage Studies
September 2004 - June 2007
University College London
Field of study
  • Archaeology

Publications

Publications (22)
Presentation
This paper examines how (post)industrial spaces become labelled as ‘disused’, ‘wastelands’, or ‘brownfields’ in processes of urban redevelopment. Taking a broad overview of different examples across sites in Edinburgh and London (UK) I ask how understandings of waste and value are produced and contested through industrial processes themselves (the...
Presentation
[presentation video] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FZy46oFclk A summary of the idea that commercial archaeology is itself an industrial process.
Presentation
This paper considers interlinked processes of waste production and management as an example of heritage creation and maintenance. Building upon recent studies of processes of decay and waste heritage management (e.g. DeSilvey 2017, Buser 2016), through examination of several former industrial sites in East London, I explore how waste can be seen as...
Conference Paper
‘Mega events’, temporary large-scale cultural spectacles of the modern era (such as the Great Exhibitions, World’s Fairs and sporting events like the Olympic Games), have often been presented by their organisers, commentators and subsequent historiography as unified, progressive and unproblematic urban interventions which yield only benefits for th...
Preprint
In this paper I investigate the archaeology industry, the commercially-driven sector of our discipline that excavates and surveys sites in advance of development, as a part of the wider industrialised world. Through examination of the multiple elements of commercial/CRM operations using the UK heritage management context as a case study, I examine...
Conference Paper
This paper considers how the creation, collection, transformation, movement and reuse of building rubble fundamentally reshapes urban landscapes. Creation of rubble is often rapid, created through conflict, disaster, or demolition, but its usefulness to urban development as foundations, in land reclamation, or recycling can encompass longer timesca...
Presentation
Discussion of the ethics of commercial archaeology practice are currently rarely discussed in northern Europe, despite the field having seen critique in places like Canada, Spain and Latin and South America (Hutchings and LaSalle 2015; papers in Resco 2016). This stands in contrast to ethical critique building within public archaeology and conflict...
Presentation
What role can the material-traces of the past play in situations of rapidly changing urban development? Mega-projects in London, such as the transformation of the docklands and the Olympics in Stratford, are often framed as unproblematic ‘regeneration’ of former industrial areas, and hence, often ignore the complex and complicated heritages linked...
Article
Full-text available
This paper considers the archaeological traces of some of the largest temporary gatherings imaginable: modern cultural mega events such as World's Fairs, Expositions and Olympic Games. Focusing specifically on what is widely accepted as the ‘first’ such event, The Great Exhibition of 1851, its aftermath and the rebuilding of its host structure, the...
Conference Paper
This thesis examines the development of mega events in the the modern era, such as International Expos, World Fairs, and Olympic Games, and their relationship to archaeology and heritage through comparing three significant examples from London’s recent history: The Great Exhibition of 1851; the 1951 Festival of Britain’s South Bank Exhibition; and...
Article
Full-text available
[Author's pre-print version] In this paper I explore the concept of the 'lost river' and the implications this term has for our understanding of the history of changing urban environments. In taking a voyage down one of the London 2012 Olympic Park’s now-filled waterways, the Pudding Mill River, charting it and its surrounding area’s diverse histor...
Article
The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World. Edited by Graves-Brown Paul,Harrison Rodney and Piccini Angela. 246mm. Pp 864, 140 ills and 3 photo essays. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013. isbn9780199602001. £125 (hbk); £107.30 (ebook). - Volume 95 - Jonathan Gardner
Article
Full-text available
Investigating several phases of construction and security fencing erected during for the London 2012 Olympics from 2007 to 2013 I show that the act of enclosure has multiple, contested histories that betray varied human desires beyond mere protection of property. Taking a contemporary archaeological and materials-based approach, I demonstrate how t...
Article
Full-text available
Considering the successive iterations of the fence surrounding the London 2012 Olympic site in Stratford, east London, I demonstrate that during the five periods of enclosure considered, these boundaries have highlighted the London Games’ contested past, present, and future. An examination of the material and discursive constructions of each of the...
Thesis
Using the example of the Isle of Dogs, London, I seek to investigate the contested use of the past in the present. I consider the various discourses of ‘history’ and ‘heritage’ and radically interrogate the normative present formed by these methods of re-presentation utilising an archaeology of the ‘contemporary past’. With this methodology I demon...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
I am trying to think about waste material as a kind of 'evidence' for something that happened elsewhere. More generally I wonder what is out there on the idea that one maaterial or whoe landscape can say something about some other techno-social process or function, distant spatially and/or temporally based on one substance or site. E.g. margarine cartons as proxies for the mass killing of cetaceans; coal slag heaps as proxies for warm homes, electricity, climate change. I.e thinking about chains of production and consumption and discard/disposal and reuse.
Perhaps by-product is a better word? Also linked to idea of affordance and maybe even Schiffer and c/n-transforms but not really seeing this here in terms of 'the archaeological record' as such.
Anyhow, any thoughts welcome!

Projects

Projects (5)
Project
An immersive VR trail and online guide telling the backstory of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site from the Bronze Age to the Digital Age.
Project
Examining the production, movement, use and reuse of rubble and waste as a creative substance that transforms landscapes in the UK. More at https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/wastelandscapes/
Project
This ongoing research considers how the profession of commercial or developer-led archaeology (also known as part of Cultural Resource Management - CRM) is itself an industrial sector. Research so far has discussed how far this might be seen as either a 'service' industry or an 'extractive' one that serves mainly to 'produce' planning consent in development projects, rather than simply, or primarily, new knowledge about the past. I am also examining the material culture of archaeological tools, workplaces and the role of archaeological labour as well as attempting an 'archaeology of the archaeology industry' itself - what we leave behind after conducting our work including spoil heaps, cut features, garbage, finds or artefacts as 'waste or by products. This also has led to discussions of archaeological ethics which are ongoing.