Abstract for Remediated Places at AAA meeting

A Sense of Place: remediations from text to digital performance

Sharing a sense of place with others has been expressed in a number of textual representations in anthropology. It has also been achieved by more poetic combinations of text and photography, and in traditional cinematic narratives of ethnographic documentary genre and TV documentaries. In this presentation I will argue through “digital performance” that digital technologies and media can be harnessed to engage multiple senses in the experience of place in ways which engender more creative re-contextualization than text (even if an e-text) alone or even text with images ever could.

Digital technologies are especially advantageous in expressing the complexity of interweaving multiple lines of evidence, multiple scales of interpretation, ambiguity of meaning for multiple voices, and experience through multiple senses. Sharing the multisensorial experience of a place, especially one constructed in the past from archaeological investigation, is a challenge which is taken up in this presentation through the example of a current project at the 9000-year old settlement of Çatalhöyük. This project involves the use of digital video (including “video-walks”), audio, GIS mapping, photography, and text to create multiple paths by which to experience the place in the past and in the present.

The same “data” are used in three different formats – on-site heritage installation, a public website, and a live performance piece (that will be the AAA presentation). The audience or “user” creates their own tour or narrative re-contextualizing these data using parameters that they choose (from options that we the authors have created).

In the publication of any interpretive mediation, the audience has to be considered. I argue that digital media create the possibility of constructing multiple interfaces that mediate “the data” for different audiences – whether academic, professional, different grades of K-16 learning, lifelong learners, or journalists – all of whom will re-contextualize my interpretation in one way or another.


~ by chimeraspider on October 28, 2006.

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