Design values in globalism – the vitality of return and exchange Here is my commentary on the design exhibition currently running at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam [Link]. My previous commentaries – [Link] [Link] Design Column #4 The circle is round ‘The World is Deglobalizing at Breakneck Speed’ – so read the title of a […]
I was quite pleased with the special Blurb edition of the review of theatre/archaeology that Mike Pearson and I just published (good quality imagery, reasonable typography and layout) [Link] [Link] So I ran up a new portfolio of my rephotographed daguerreotypes – “Ghosts in the Mirror”. Ghosts in the Mirror by Michael Shanks Here […]
Six Lines of Flight: Shifting Geographies in Contemporary Art has just closed at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art [Link] [Link] The topic of the exhibition – contemporary art in six “far-flung” cities not typically defined as traditional centers of the art world: Beirut, Cali, Cluj-Napoca, Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco, Tangier. Ostensibly this is […]
Gabriel Moshenska has sent me his recent and very neat article about the archaeological uncanny in the ghost stories of MR James. Gabriel is quite right, I think, to highlight the connection between Freud’s unheimlich, ghosts, and the haunting persistence, sometimes malevolent, of the past – MR James made much of the curses that can […]
I am hearing a lot about Alan Bennett’s new play “People”, currently running at the National Theatre in London [Link] The setting is where he grew up – south Yorkshire UK, in a run down country house facing an uncertain future. What are it’s upper crust owners going to do to make ends meet? Sell […]
Fred Simeone’s new book about the conservation and preservation of cars is out today, launched at Bonhams’s “Preserving the Automobile” auction at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, Philadelphia, – [Link]. Fred is prompting a reevaluation of car collecting with his support for sensitive preservation rather than restoration. There have been two preservation classes of cars […]
Today I’m in the Clark Center at Stanford, hub of the Bio-X Program – bioengineering and more. Steve Quake (Stanford Bioengineering and Applied Physics) is hosting a meeting of The Human Document Project – [Link] With us are Laura Welcher (Long Now Foundation), Tim D. White (Palaeoanthropology, Berkeley), Michael Fischer (Anthropological Sciences, Canterbury, UK), Andreas […]
Christine Finn’s wonderfully sensitive documentary about Jacquetta Hawkes was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 yesterday – [Link] [Link] Truly, a human past. Here are my earlier comments – [Link] Jacquetta Hawkes from Michael Shanks on Vimeo.
More confirmation of the spread of that contemporary and popular sensibility attuned to the resonances of pasts-in-the-present. English Heritage, the government agency, has put up nearly half a million dollars for a weekend of 4500 heritage open houses. This is the biggest heritage event in the UK this year. Peter Saunders in his re-creation of […]
Gary (Devore) is currently presenting a superb commentary on Fellini Satyricon – that sumptuous marvel of a movie – [Link] In a daring and masterful tour de force, the director has violated every cinematographic rule by producing a film with no pace, no psychology, no stars, and no story. Gary has opened my eyes to […]
Chorography – a workshop at Durham University July 10 2012 – [Link] Summer fieldwork. I am less focused on the excavations at Binchester this year [Link]. I am pulling together my long-running research into the region – the English Scottish borders. How do you tell of such a place? All that is there, and has […]
Out with the dogs this morning, circa 1876. Ironic media inversion – add patina and enjoy as the past becomes the present. More play with the iPhone app Camera Awesome.
Camera Awesome for the iPhone – playing with the filters – so many of which simulate analogue film – capturing what becomes of what was – materialities, quiddities Café Scheltema, Amsterdam – [Link]
“At a scene of crime anything might be relevant” – a catch phrase from our work in theatre/archaeology, explored in Experiencing the Past (1992) and featuring now in my new book “The Archaeological Imagination”, out this coming week – [Link] In this light, Ewa (Domanska) has referred me to a fascinating, an intriguing new project […]
Gary (Devore) has brought my attention to a remarkable new publication from the Panstwowe Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau [Link] “The Auschwitz Album” or “Lili Jacob Album” comprises about 200 photographs taken by the German SS and depicting the arrival of a transport of Hungarian Jews at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp in 1944. This new collection takes 31 […]
My book, The Archaeological Imagination, long in gestation, will soon be out from Mitch Allen’s Left Coast Press – [Link] This week in Götegorg, I have been sharing some of its stories. Set in the borders between England and Scotland, I explore the roots of so many of our contemporary attitudes towards the past. The […]
I have just received a copy of Make space: How to set the stage for creative collaboration, from Stanford d.school’s Scott Doorley and Scott Witthoft – [Link] It is about the wonderful environment of the Peterson Building, home of the d.school, how it came to look the way it does, with its customized fittings, studios, […]
Laurent Olivier’s wonderful book Le sombre abîme du temps has just appeared in translation (as The dark abyss of time: memory and archaeology) – [Link] Laurent offers profound elaboration of the fundamental insight that the past is all around us, before us, in material traces, that presence is filled with the past, that the future […]
I can’t help hanging around the dead. On a visit to Walter Scott’s grave in the ruins of Dryburgh Abbey. Some extraordinary gravestones. Late 18th century. I have been talking with Bianca (Carpeneti) and Chris (Lowman) about a true education of the sentiments – as envisaged by Rousseau – so much more appropriately contemporary than […]
The excavation season is starting up again. We’ll soon be off to the Roman borders to Binchester – Vinovium. Chris Witmore (Texas Tech), one of our PIs, sends this as a reminder of last year … thirty-five hands & one paw on Prezi
Another artist exploring an archaeological sensibility – Rotterdam based Lara Almarcegui. Secession – at TENT, Rotterdam.
Song Dong at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. Dad and Mom, Don’t Worry About Us, We Are All Well is a large-scale installation called Waste Not. It comprises over 10,000 items ranging from pots and basins to blankets, bottle caps, toothpaste tubes, and stuffed animals collected by the artist’s mother over […]
Latest on the excavations of Binchester Roman town – [Link] David Petts has posted an x-ray made by Jenny Jones of one of the artifacts found this summer – [Link] It didn’t look like much when it was found. It turns out to be a stylus – for writing on wax tablets. Evidence for literacy […]