A soundscape created in the Kelvin underpass in Glasgow, recorded by Drew Mulholland.
Hello, I’m Rebecca Lambert, also known as Lady Liminal, a postgraduate archaeological researcher and landscape punk, who wanders and ponders the liminal places within the world. My projects cover a broad spectrum. From underpasses to pylons, paranoid architecture through to future ghosts. In this soundscape I, with thanks to Drew Mulholland, explore underpasses as liminal places. We approach underpasses with trepidation, but we know that we must walk their path in order to reach the ‘other side’. Upon entering I am physically removed from the world above, the world of natural light, the world of the living. I am underground, but I am not. I am moving through and within different spheres. Upon exiting the underpass and returning to the light will I be the same person? Would I have undergone a rite of passage, however small?
So please join me and let’s descend into the world of the underpass together.
Barracks Park (also known as St George’s Park) in Hulme, central Manchester, England, was excavated as part of the Dig Greater Manchester community archaeology project in July 2013. The park was seen as a key site for the project since it contained the remains of Hulme Barracks, a 19th century cavalry base established in 1792 and closed in 1915 that was used during the Peterloo Massacre of 1819. It was also a class of military site that had been little studied within North West England, being used as a base for both for policing the local industrial population and recruiting them for the British Army. The early history of the barracks is poorly recorded but between 1817 and 1895 the barracks were occupied by twenty-seven regiments in succession. This podcast looks at the background history of the site, especially its role in the Peterloo protest and massacre, the surviving remains as excavated in 2013 by the Dig Greater Manchester community archaeology project, and the wider context of this 19th century military type site.
What remains in the aftermath of a temporary event like a festival, sporting spectacle, or exhibition?
How do both planned and unplanned event ‘legacies’ play out?
Explore these questions and more by experiencing two virtual tours taking in the history and archaeology of two London mega event sites at Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford.
Using Google Tour Builder, you can explore these huge festival sites from the comfort of your own home along a route that takes in some of traces they have left behind. At each stop you can click to watch a short video or, alternatively, read the transcript and view images, as well as exploring the contemporary landscape using Street View.
Each tour is about an hour long, but you can take in as much or as little as you like. At the end of each tour there are links to further information.
This tour presents the history and archaeology of the Crystal Palace Park in Sydenham, South London. This enormous park was once the home of the famous Crystal Palace. This building was originally constructed in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, but move here in 1852 and reopened as a strange mixture of museum and theme park. The site provides an excellent example of the varied ‘afterlives’ of temporary events and how their traces can linger over the long-term.
This tour explores the history and archaeology of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in East London (the main site of the 2012 Olympic Games) from prehistory to the present. It takes in archaeological discoveries made during preparations for the Games as well as exploring the rich heritage of the area prior to the event, and discusses post- ‘legacy’ developments.
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Parramatta, derived from the Aboriginal place name ‘Burramatta’, is being developed as Greater Sydney’s second city, paralleling its origins as the second settlement established by Europeans in 1788. As the old makes way for the new, so archaeologists have been uncovering the recent and not-so-recent past.
Meta ’Matta is foremost a personal exploration of doing archaeology in Parramatta over the past four years. Field archaeology is a constant process of interpretation and with this work I seek to reflect on the feelings and experiences that are peripheral but integral to the daily experience of practicing archaeology. It is recollections of commuting, coffee, food and booze. It is a showcase of Parramatta as it is now – midway through its transformation. It will also include an exploration of archaeological interpretation – the city’s past on display for its future.
In Korean, “tiled-roof house” is an idiom used to refer to a wealthy family.Nowadays, in big cities (except in city centres, ex: Gangnam in Seoul) or in small towns, one can easily find buildings or structures with a tiled-roof in a traditional form. In this tour, I will show you around roofs made of a variety of materials, in houses and buildings. For example, asbestos tiles on top of a red-brick house, plastic roof tiles that cover container homes, and a plastic dog house. I found it fascinating because the main body of the buildings keeps adopting a more up to dated form, with the roof remains in a quite traditional form.
In this tour, you will travel to South Korea, see some roofs of houses, doghouses, public toilets, and roofs with many kinds of materials. This is a bilingual blog tour in Korean and English. It will take around 5 minutes to finish the tour for each language. To take the tour, please click the link below. There are some parts where you can swipe to see more pictures.
Talk and Live Q&A event Monday 26 October 13:00-14:00 EDT (New York); 17:00-18:00 GMT (London)
The temperature in New York today has been predicted and calculated 26 billion times. This prodigious number-crunching is the work of just one entity—IBM’s artificial intelligence program Deep Thunder. A fraction of these and other temperatures animate global cityscapes as electrified numbers framing fashion ads and dotting skylines. Here I present four years of documentary work on the material culture of temperatures in New York.
Temperature was invented just over three centuries ago. While cosmologists assure us that fluctuations in heat are as old as the universe, a quantified scale for observing these fluctuations is relatively recent. As a culturally produced system of observing heat, temperature exemplifies a dominant approach to producing knowledge that developed alongside colonial capitalist forms of social organization in Western Europe. This multi-media Zoom presentation critiques the epistemology of capitalism through an in-depth analysis of five specific temperature artifacts. I excavate the semiotic stratigraphy of each temperature, demonstrating the material interactions from which the number is extracted (be it the contractions of mercury, the electric resistivity of manganese oxide, or the laser- induced stasis of Rubidium). This effort builds on Karen Barad’s argument that meaning, matter, and measurement are fundamentally inseparable. Temperature demonstrates well that the discursive and the material cannot be parsed—all matter signals discursively and all discursive signals have material strata.
In excavating the semiotic events these five temperatures produce, I reveal how temperatures (and to some extent all urban quantification) reify the hypothetical worlds necessary for the performance of capitalism. That is, the ubiquitous banality of temperature naturalizes a reality into which wealth (capital) must grow, marketing a dehumanized future. Public temperatures occupy incredibly expensive urban space—they are not helpful public services, but guideposts weaving together the time of capitalism. Tomorrow already has a temperature. My work rematerializes colonial extraction, much how earlier work has attempted to denaturalize oppression and discrimination. Just as archaeology has theorized perceptions of time, this work problematizes the thermodynamics of social organization: capitalism requires tremendous heat.