ArticlePDF Available

Art and the Re-Presentation of the Past

Authors:

Abstract

This article considers conceptual links between producing installation art works in the present and interpreting prehistoric lifeworlds. We consider connections between the work of contemporary ‘landscape’, ‘environmental’ or ‘ecological’ artists and an on-going landscape archaeology project centred on Leskernick Hill, Bodmin Moor in the south-west of Britain. We argue that the production of art works in the present can be a powerful means of interpreting the past in the present. Both the practices of interpreting the past and producing art result in the production of something new that transforms our understanding of place and space resulting in the creation of new meaning. Art and archaeology can act together dialectically to produce a novel conceptualization of the past and produce a means of relating to the past that is considerably more than the sum of its parts.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... However, the general consensus among its proponents appears to be that the experience of sites and landscapes gives us a much broader context than bare data can allow for, and can lead to new ideas and explanations for the physical remains. As an example, some of the technique's pioneers -Sue Hamilton, Christopher Tilley and Barbara Bender -conducted a phenomenological investigation of the Leskernick Bronze Age settlement in 2010 (Tilley, Hamilton and Bender, 2010). Their approach was decidedly low-tech but utilised many methods to engage the feeling of experience such as the now-famous wooden "doorframe" that was used to simulate a doorway out of a bronze age house and thus instil an experience of what it might have been like to sit in the completed house (Ibid 2010, pp. ...
... Stuart Eve's work extended this to utilise Augmented Reality as a way of not only reconstructing entire buildings but also allowing the user to walk through the environment using a mobile phone to view a reconstruction upon the local landscape and thus enhancing the phenomenological experience (Eve, 2014). This reconstruction allowed a visitor to the site the ability to view the various buildings and structures in situ, overlaid over the remains visible today (as seen in Figure 3 below), adding a technological addition to the doorframe idea discussed previously (Tilley, Hamilton and Bender, 2010). In order to orientate the visual overlay in the correct position, the application used a combination of GPS coordinates derived from the hardware used (in this case, an Apple Ipad) in conjunction with the devices gyroscopes and compass (Eve, 2014). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This (unsubmitted) thesis investigates the feasibility of solo developing a Virtual Reality simulation utilising computer games development software that can be used to enhance archaeological landscape investigation by providing a precisely controllable ‘visual-spatial’ environment for landscape analysis. It attempts to dispel any notion that within archaeology, Virtual Reality is purely for public engagement and showcases how, when used with the Unreal Engine 4 games engine, it can present data in a different way to allow for insights, interpretations and ideas about archaeological sites and landscapes. Harnessing the new wave of affordable Virtual Reality hardware, this thesis aims show how this accessible method of application creation can not only provide an academically beneficial method of archaeological investigation but also show that it is affordable and within the means of dedicated people to produce. To this end, an application will be created within a games engine development environment to investigate an unexcavated Scottish Atlantic Iron Age roundhouse site using Virtual Reality, tested with a small selection of archaeologists. Their feedback then forms the backbone of the discussion about this method of using Virtual Reality.
... Cochrane and Russell 2007;Refrew 2003) and sometimes producing artworks of their own to enhance their archaeological understandings (e.g. Cochrane and Russell 2007;Tilley et al. 2000, also see Gheorghiu, this volume, and Jones, this volume). ...
... Flawed research exists in every discipline, but specific research examples should not be misinterpreted as representative of the norms or values of a particular field. Employing thought provoking methods, humanistically-oriented landscape archaeologists adopted art-historical, theatre and performance art practices to, among other things, question the value and objectivity of scientifically-oriented archaeology (Shanks & Tilley 1987;Tilley et al. 2000). This highly-influential work, with its avant-garde elements, has been viewed by some critics as paradigmatic of the failings of humanistic, experiential approaches to landscape archaeology (see Fleming 2006), although it is, arguably, not representative of most experiential approaches. ...
Article
Full-text available
To some, archaeology is best framed as a science, and to others it is envisioned as part of the humanities; but in our view archaeology as a discipline is strongest when it acknowledges the value of and incorporates both scientific and humanistic perspectives. Despite the many successes of scientifically-oriented archaeology, we contend that our discipline cannot achieve its broader aims without the humanities. We illustrate our argument by delineating three research domains – Deep Time Perspectives, Spatial Histories, and Public Engagement – and reviewing recent studies in each that have successfully integrated scientific and humanistic approaches to spatial archaeology.
Article
Antarctica differs from all other regions in the world, not only from its unique geography, but also in the way humans understand it and have incorporated it into global relations. Considering Antarctica's distinctive landscapes and human relations, this paper discusses aspects of how time is humanly perceived in Antarctica. Basing on elements from different human occupations, nineteenth-century sailor-hunters and current incursions, this discussion approximates different historical groups in their experiences of Antarctica, connecting their personal lives, past and present. Meanwhile, also put into issue are the dualities that separate nature and culture, physical and relative time, and past and present , as well as the related notions of time in itself, perceived time speed and internal time consciousness .
Article
Full-text available
By adopting posthuman ecology as its methodological framework, the author of this paper examines how British environmental artist Andy Goldsworthy's conceptualization of nature can radically undermine the nature/culture dichotomy. To do this, the author will survey the first and the second waves of environmental art movement, also known as Representational and Performative Environmental Art, in order to situate Goldsworthy's small-scale works within the latter. Then, by embracing Tim Ingold's idea of "thinking through making" within materialist ecology, the author puts forward that Goldsworthy's environmental art can resist the old-age hylomorphic model by using intuitiveness and improvisation as its strategy. In doing so, Goldsworthy eschews from turning nature into a representation that is to be manipulated by human subjectivity from afar, precisely by thinking from natural materials rather than about them, thus inviting us to conceive all human and nonhuman organisms as an intricate conglomerate of "leaky things" in an endless flux of ecological becoming.
Book
Full-text available
Volume 2 of Neolithic Spaces documents in detail the Neolithic villaggi trincerati (ditched villages) of the Tavoliere Plain, Puglia, southeast Italy, visible in the John Bradford Archive of (WW2) Aerial Photographs. These include many previously unknown sites. It is organized as follows. Chapter 1 presents an introduction to the Bradford Archive and an account of the methods used to digitize the photographs and map the sites. It introduces a new classification system for villaggi trincerati that categorizes them by features and complexity, rather than mainly by size, as in previous systems. Chapters 2–8 reproduce the aerial photographs at a series of common scales, and include site plans based on these and other available photos (such as those on Google Earth) and survey plans. Also given are grid-references, using the Italian ED1950 datum, photographs of the sites on the ground today, a summary of the finds identified on them (most of these new identifications) and a list of bibliographic references. Each of these chapters is introduced with a summary of Neolithic sites in the area covered by it and a regional map showing all of these, and followed by a correspondence table, again including all of the known Neolithic sites in the area, along with their grid-references and the different names and numbers by which they have been and are known. PRINT VERSIONS OF BOTH VOLUMES OF NEOLITHIC SPACES ARE AVAILABLE TO BUY FROM THE ACCORDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE AT https://www.accordia-research.org/.
Article
Tim Ingold's ‘science of correspondence’ describes a kind of epistemological intimacy in the practices of art, science, and anthropology. Archaeology would benefit from cultivating correspondence as a way to understand its research process. Ingold's model, however, appears to elide art and craft. Though both are necessary, I argue they should be kept separate for analytical purposes. Correspondence as pre-conceptual practice provides a way to understand that the form of archaeological objects is the outcome of processes of growth rather than design. Artworks as non-conceptual outcomes of practice provide insight into the nature of archaeological things beyond what can be understood under the general terms of correspondence. Artworks and archaeological things share the ontological problem of how to make something new out of materials. Artists work on materials to generate sensations never before experienced. Archaeologists work on a more circumscribed body of material to produce a past not thought of or experienced before. Unlike artworks, archaeological things carry both sensation and the residue of concepts with them. An archaeological sensibility can help archaeologists resurrect not the original concepts themselves but the conceptual potential immanent to the specific arrangements of materials and the forms they, however temporarily, take on.
Chapter
Full-text available
The exhibition carried out by Patricia Gómez and Mª Jesús González in gallery 6 of IVAM supposes, more than a reflection artistic-archaeological, an archaeological project in itself. The recovery of the institution's past -The IVAM opened its doors in 1989- is the objective of the exposition. This trajectory of only 30 years seems scarce, a priori, to document the fossilization of actions and behaviors, more if possible taking into account that the intervention It is located in a two-story gallery located in the second plant of the museum. This prevents the excavation of the subsoil, although does not preclude its consideration as a susceptible space of archaeological intervention, by the presence of the walls and, on them, of the layers of paintings. However, the gallery 6 can not, and should not, be interpreted without taking into account part of a landscape and a particular sociocultural context. The peripheral position of the museum with respect to the historical center of the city, and its location in the Carmen neighborhood, have conditioned its recent history. Between 1989 and 2018, except for the 2,800 m2 of expropriated and demolished houses and courtyards on the rear facade of the museum, the museum urban area has suffered few transformations. You can not say the same thing inside the 'gallery 6', which has seen as in its walls followed the exhibitions. In the 372 m2 of this room, distributed on two floors and connected by a staircase, the artists of the present exhibition have intervened with two different methodologies, both archaeological. In the first space, the lower one, the walls have been excavated, while, in the second space, on the upper floor, the textual information of the last thirty years relative to 'gallery 6' is shown forming a Harris Matrix-
Article
This paper is an exploration of the relationship between topographic features of the landscape, agency and power in small‐scale societies. In it I argue that topographic features of the landscape constitute a series of symbolic resources of essential significance in the formation of personal biographies and the creation and reproduction of structures of power. I attempt to explore these ideas through a discussion of the prehistoric landscapes of Bodmin Moor from the Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age.
Open air sculpture in Britain: twentieth century developments
  • L Biggs
Biggs, L. 1984. Open air sculpture in Britain: twentieth century developments. In A sense of place: sculpture in the landscape (eds) P. Davies & T. Knipe, 13-39. London: Ceolfrith Press.
Comparing artistic and natural beauty
  • D Crawford
Crawford, D. 1993. Comparing artistic and natural beauty. Landscape, natural beauty and the arts (eds) S. Kemal & I. Gaskell, 183-97. Cambridge: University Press.
Hand to earth. London: Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture
  • A Goldsworthy
Goldsworthy, A. 1990a. Hand to earth. London: Henry Moore Centre for the Study of Sculpture. ---1990b. Andy Goldsworthy. London: Viking. ---1994. Stone. London: Viking. ---1995. Conference paper. Manchester: National Trust Centenary Conference.
Arts of the environment
  • G Kepes
Kepes, G. (ed.) 1972. Arts of the environment. London: Aidan Ellis.
Richard Lang in conversation
  • R Long
Long, R. 1986. Richard Lang in conversation. Noordwijk, Holland: MW Press.