CatalVideoPlace “Treatment” 24 July 2005

RET’s “Treatment” for first Remediated Place at Çatalhöyük, Turkey 24 July 2005

a series of “video-walks” on and around the East Mound of Çatalhöyük mound designed to be layered with ambient sound, soundtrack (music),voiceover, images, 3Dmodels, and other video clips to enhance the multisensual (sensorial?) experience of place at the mound for different audiences.

Audience and Implementation:
in thinking about the audience I have thought about different scenarios in which these video-walks could be implemented:
Scenario 1: you are a visitor to Çatalhöyük. You’ve read lot about it, seen pictures, even movies, bought a guidebook, seen the intro movie in the Museum (maybe). Now you take a small video camera in your hands and don a pair of headphones and take the path. Before you set off you can choose from several tape options:
o You may have chosen the tape which gives you a “sensuous tour” of Çatalhöyük. This will give you an experience enrichened as you walk across the mound by references (in your ear) to the scents of the early morning; the sound and feel of the dust underneath your feet; the sounds of birds, wind, and – as a contrast to your probable current physical experience in the scorching sun – cool moonlight or even a winter’s day and the sound of rain at Çatal (to remind you that it is not always like this); you will hear other sounds of people walking next to you as the team escorts you to the excavation; you will see intimate close-ups of the excavation where you cannot go; you can actually walk (peripatetically) amongst the actual remains of the houses and experience the rhythm of excavation in the hands and tools of the archaeologists, and hear the multi-lingual quiet chatter of voices.
o Or you may have chosen the “memory tape” option in which you get to experience through voices, diaries, images and videos fragments of the memory of past excavations and archaeologists in these places and the lives of past villagers and houses. Before your eyes and ears the houses will go through a life-cycle, and so will the excavations.
o Or maybe you will be less adventurous and choose the “informative” option, a tape in which the mound and the excavated areas are given meaning in a more conventional way, in terms of social organization, social and economic evolution and the beginning of a sedentary way of life. But be careful – even in this tape we cannot avoid some amusing subversive remediation, slipping into multiple interpretations and arguments with other archaeologists, or a reflexive musing on the meaning of all of this archaeology in terms of its local and global position as a place of cultural heritage.

Scenario 2: You are a visitor to the CatalVideoPlace project website which you have reached via the Çatalhöyük website or from other links or google. You want to take a virtual tour on your computer or your TV monitor.
o You could see a “straight” video tour (that already exists on the Catal website and the SMM website with added written or spoken information.
o Or you could choose to add “screens” in which images, sounds and other videos are “layered” to enhance your virtual experience. There are options similar to those described for the on-site version of the project. But in the web-based version you have the choice of jumping to the excavation nodes- as in the more conventional tours.
o Or you could spend more time with us in the many nodes between the excavation places. As you follow the video tour, on the other screen(s) are “layered” images, commentaries, voiceovers, ambient sounds, diaries, and other videos which encourage you to think laterally about the video-walk that you are “following”. In these layered views, there is a focus on intimacy and close proximity, and a slow pace of movement, a focus on hands and trowels and feet to express the sense of touch, the sounds and slow pace of excavation; we are interested in the process of excavation when all is ambiguous and confusing before the end of product of clarity and cleaned features.

Scenario 3: you are attending a performance of “Sensuous Çatalhöyük”, something between a play, an opera, and circus. You watch – or perhaps have been coerced into being part of – a group of “walkers in front of a central screen that shows the video walk. On each side of the central screen are two other screens, also with their group of live performers. The “walkers” can change channels or options to explore the different experiences of the video-walk according the options outlined in the other scenarios. Perhaps they pass through the “Chimera curtain”. The Walkers respond to the different channels/layers that they experience.

Suggestions for the two-minute “Real Project”
Focus on the walk to the BACH tent, but use footage and sound not only from the BACH project, but also from the experimental house, but also from the compound. Maybe do a merging of my three Scenario 1 options.
We can film the walk once perhaps with commentary on what we want to “layer” along the way. Then we watch at that tape while recording the same walk again and adding some real commentary this time. And then do it again.


~ by chimeraspider on October 29, 2006.

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