3rd Visualisation in Archaeology Workshop, 21-22 October 2010

I have been a bit absent lately, grappling with start-of-term teaching and research commitments, but I wanted to quickly note that we’re preparing to host the 3rd Visualisation in Archaeology workshop on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 October in Southampton.  The format of the event has changed slightly, as we have invited various speakers to give position statements on particular topics which will then be opened up to ½ day-long sessions of debate and brainstorming.  We have the intention of live-streaming the event through our VIA website, although the logistics of this process are still being sorted out.

The line-up of speakers for the workshop is really spectacular, including Martyn Barber, Kate Giles, Sudeshna Guha, Janet Hodgson, Jeremy Huggett, Andy Jones, Orlando Mathias, Costas Papadopoulos, Angela Piccini, Jason Quinlan, Ian Russell, John Swogger, Gemma Tully, Tim Webmoor, Helen Wickstead, Kelvin Wilson, Justine Wintjes.

In other words, accompanied by the expertise of our chairs (Stephanie Moser, Sam Smiles, Simon James and Graeme Earl), the governmental, commercial, museological, artistic and academic sectors are all well-represented here.  Alongside the others, I’m also going to be giving a statement on the ‘rewards’ of archaeological visual media, with reference to my PhD research on the founding of London’s Institute of Archaeology.  I’ve posted below the general workshop abstract, and do check back on our VIA page for links to (hopefully) our live-stream.

3rd Visualisation in Archaeology Workshop, October 2010

After two years of dialogue between more than 100 specialists, the Visualisation in Archaeology project (VIA) is looking back at the key conceptual concerns over visual practice that have simmered throughout our 2008 and 2009 Workshops. Grounded in the recommendations of VIA’s contributors, our final Workshop in October 2010 looks both to scrutinise and to anticipate future developments around those theoretical and methodological matters that have repeatedly animated VIA’s audiences: Creation, Communication, Circulation & Consumption.

At stake are four overarching questions:
How is visualisation involved in creating new lines of research, compiling archaeological data sets, navigating information and driving forward enquiry—and what, then, are the responsibilities of visual creators?

How do images communicate ideas, knowledge and emotion, and how do authorship and history affect these communicative processes? Of particular interest here is analysis of the content and history of imagery.

How — and with what consequences — does the circulation of visual media intersect with professional structures of funding, administration, conduct, legitimacy and expertise? Of concern here are the means and effects of image distribution.

How do viewers consume and react to visual representations, and what can be done to hone visual skillsets among professional and general audiences?

Opening with a series of short position statements by invited speakers, the 2010 Workshop seeks to explore these questions through four chaired sessions of debate and brainstorming. In responding to feedback from former workshop contributors for targeted conceptual exploration and more structured and intensive discussion periods, we look here to begin laying out a solid intellectual framework for future enquiry into visualisation in archaeology articulated by key scholars in the field.

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