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UAL Research Online

Grave Goods

Minkin, Louisa and Dawson, Ian (2014) Grave Goods. In: Archaeologies of Media and Film, September 3, 2014 – September 5, 2014, University of Bradford and National Media Museum.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Minkin, Louisa and Dawson, Ian
Description:

William Gibson once remarked that what distinguishes human beings from animals is the externalization of memory. Whales, he said, don’t carve their songs in coral. Coral, itself a supple sub-aqua organism, petrifies when it surfaces, its pinkness leeched from the blood of Medusa’s severed head. These dual movements of liquidity and petrifaction characterize ways in which knowledge is distributed and stored. The diffuse, Lucretian shedding of skins and films of image as emanation, and the mute immanence of the concrete embedding of object as fossil.

This project was initiated collaboratively between artists and archaeologists. Together with the Archaeological Computing Research Group and the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins at the University of Southampton we have been looking at ways to exchange practice and develop innovative ways of working with new visualization technologies. Techniques such as high-resolution data capture, photogrammetry, reflectance transformation imaging and 3D printing represent a new era in digital imaging. As these technologies have become increasingly affordable they are taking a more significant role in art practice.

As artists working in art school with a diverse and ahistorical set of imaging technologies, we were curious about how to better understand recently acquired 3D scanning and printing equipment. We began unpicking some historical precedents including an ancestor of 3D fabrication technology: a device from 1863 for turning photographs into sculpture. It provided a genealogy not for the moving image but for the information model. As a collective of students and staff we figured out how to hack and build a bastard apparatus. In so doing we found that we were generating paradata: exploring the systems of the institution, the building of discipline and the vectors of control.

Our most recent collaboration has been to apply these new technologies to some very old technical objects: carved neolithic artefacts, some of the earliest pre-epistemological objects whose very inscrutability could let us characterize them as a prehistoric black box. We have both scanned and re-carved them, processes that serve to emphasise the status of the objects as skeuomorphs, and, in turn, reminding us that recursion is at the heart of the methodology of remaking and re-enactment we have sought to establish as an educational tactic.

Official Website: http://www.archmediafilm.org/index.php/arch/arch14/index
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: September 2014
Event Location: University of Bradford and National Media Museum
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2014 14:41
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2014 14:41
Item ID: 7023
URI: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/7023

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