Daily blog posts at 08:30 BST/GMT during the festival
While archaeology is essentially a time-centric field, scarcely as archaeologist’s do we turn our lenses inward and interrogate the ways in which we perceive and project our own concepts of time. It is crucial in our discipline that we challenge the pedagogic and institutionalised preference for periodization and absolutism when it comes to interpreting and writing the past. I propose that we instead adopt innovative paths and patterns counter to our ordinary, ensconced views on time. By employing concepts of literary theory—like end-stopping and enjambment—I intend to use poetic expression, accompanied by visual art, as a means to demonstrate the superfluousness of some of our current conceptions of time in archaeology.
This will be explored by a series of blog posts each day during festival CHAT, starting on the 23 October, launched at 8:30 BST.
Throughout festivalCHAT, James Lattin (@drjameslattin) will be discussing the creative possibilities of the Museum with a variety of artists and enthusiasts. With a focus on his concept of ‘wayside archaeology’ he will invite guests to elaborate on their approaches to the everyday object, fictional persona and forgotten corners. He’ll be providing updates via Twitter and on his website.
In 2019 Scottish archaeologists, anthropologists, artists, heritage sector practitioners and students disorganised in four workshops to explore contemporary archaeology in Scotland. The participants were provided with notebooks to chart their workshop journeys in writing, drawing, photographs, paste-ups and collages. This is an exposition of those workshops, presented in a non-linear manner with no coherent thread. We have no idea what will be presented. We don’t care if it’s complex: we embrace chaos, disruption and incoherence!
A huge array of artefacts were found on the site of London and Paris House, an 1860s-1870s fancy goods store in Christchurch, in 2017. The assemblage contains a fascinating array of objects not often seen in the domestic archaeological record and provides a rare window into the material culture of a retail space, a commercial perspective on shopping and consumer choice. It is also one of the case studies from my thesis, which looks at the availability and use of goods in nineteenth-century Christchurch, New Zealand, particularly how much control people had over their shopping choices and how much was shaped by the cultural and economic worlds in which they lived.
As an anarchist, a mother, an archaeologist, I’m deeply concerned with making kin through the investigation and care of objects, places, and people. Finding a politics of joy and intimacy, and building things together as a way to resist Empire. In this short film I gave an alienated object, a child’s shoe, to my kin, the caretakers of the discarded to understand and reanimate this object, even as it disintegrated in our hands.
The film is 5 minutes long. Shoe was a project curated by Doug Bailey and Sara Navarro for the Ineligible Exhibition at the International Museum for Contemporary Sculpture in Santo Tirso (Portugal) as part of the exhibition Creative (un)makings: Disruptions in Art/Archaeology. More details here.
Poetry writing workshop on Sunday 25 October 14:00-16:00 GMT (London)
How does something go from lost to found? When objects become lost, forgotten, or temporarily misplaced, they might disappear from us entirely or remain close to us despite their physical distance; how do we then close the gap between the spaces that arise between people and things?
Before the workshop you will ‘find’ something lost – something hiding in the back of a drawer, an object put into storage and not thought about for a while, or perhaps even an artefact from a site you’ve worked on. Bring your find to the session and we will explore what is familiar and what is strange, how to build connections to something that has been missing, and how we might build a bridge to lost things. You will need only your found thing, pen, and paper – no poetry experience necessary!
Live session on basic filmmaking and editing techniques onMonday 26 October 14:00-15:30 GMT
Watch the premiere here!
My recent film, Frames (2020) documents all of the windows within my Grandparents’ house, drawing attention to the window frames themselves rather than just the views they contain. This piece is a meditation on the house and the spaces within it, as well as an exploration of my feelings as I begin to say goodbye to the house.
In this live session we will discuss and share some basic filmmaking and editing techniques using mobile phones. The session is especially suitable for those who have never tried filmmaking before. The session will include practical exercises and the results can then be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #recordyourspace.
Cutting across the ‘COVID-19’ and ‘Drift’ themes of festivalCHAT, I share my lockdown perambulations where I measured the compass within an Ayrshire Farm. An Ayrshire Situationist is a journey recording climate, social history, wildlife and the zeitgeist via drawing and walking.
It was a sensory practice with metre and awareness, thinking about how we see and how we acknowledge place and environment. The farm has been here for a while, it’s features on a Blau Map from 1650. My family arrived here from Kintyre early in the 19th Century. In many ways it mirrors the difficulty of small scale farming in the 21st Century. I would like to walk to points on the compass again capturing the same place in a different season, post lockdown, however not post COVID-19.
We never established if cows were Dadaists or more prone to nihilism. The project captured so many elements of that time, both personal and collective, when the world literally slowed to a daunder, you could hear the grass growing and the silence was so audible. There was no traffic or trains, no aircrafts. We heard a cuckoo, saw the hare and deer, the curlews made a cameo. And now it feels like another time. How would the same journey feel in autumn?