Back at Maker Faire today in San Mateo. The Maker aesthetic—
Matters of the presence of the past — haunting presences. A couple of editions of Walter Scott’s poetry have arrived from my favorite bookseller – Barter Books of Alnwick, Northumberland UK. The first is an 1866 edition of Scott’s poem, Marmion, about the days before the disaster of Flodden Field in 1513. It is illustrated [...]
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 [...]
I have just written the foreword to Deborah Yun’s fabulous photographic study of payphones [Link] [Link] Portland Oregon Maybe they were never quite where you wanted them to be, but away from home, out of the office or workplace, seeking anonymity perhaps, or simply without a phone and needing to make a call, the payphone [...]
We made it at last today to the Mark Bradford exhibition in San Francisco at SFMOMA – [Link] Exhibition website – [Link] Maybe it’s about … tracing the ghosts of cities past. It’s the pulling off of a layer and finding another underneath. It’s the … details that point to people saying, “We exist; we [...]
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]
A perceptive item in the Guardian yesterday, from Simon Jenkins: Welcome to the post-digital world, an exhilarating return to civility – via Facebook and Lady Gaga. The point – our contemporary world is a mixed reality – witness the growing importance (again) of “live events”, even as we are more connected digitally: A week in California [...]
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 [...]
Sam (Schillace) has put me onto a very interesting photo project – where site becomes the surface of artifact. PhotoGraphy from ShiKai Tseng on Vimeo. (An artifact is placed inside a pinhole camera that records a 360 degree panorama onto its surface.) Further focus on medium as mode of engagement, as much as signal and [...]
Exploring the Borders with Gary (Devore). Jedburgh Abbey – an extraordinary building. In the footsteps of Roloph Beny – remarkable photographer, remarkable and misguided snob. Here is his photo from the lavish Thames and Hudson edition of Rose Macualay’s “Pleasure of Ruins” (1962).
Superb performance last night from Gorillaz at Oakland Arena. Their latest, Plastic Beach, has an environmentalist theme, but avoids trite treatment of such a common and pressing matter of concern. (The contrast with the likes of movie Avatar is stark.) Human concern – – Damon Albarn, graphic artist Jamie Hewlett, the 2D virtual members of [...]
Start-up company Box dot Net – preparing for its move to new offices. I usually prefer the term “design studies” over “material culture studies” – the term typically used in cultural anthropology for a focus upon humanity’s material accoutrement. I don’t think the distinction between material and immaterial or intangible is always that useful (isn’t [...]
The (im)materialities of cuisine Brussels.
This post is in a series of commentaries on a class running at Stanford, Winter Quarter 2010 – “Transformative Design” ENGR 231 – [Link] Everyday detritus – Roman – the indeterminate quotidian Today I ran a session about archaeology and design. (A tighter focus than my recent case for pragmatology and pragmatogony – [Link]) I [...]
I have been working on a portfolio of photos I had put to one side. They are of the old covered markets in Thessaloniki. I was visiting Kostas Kotsakis in April 2006. More at archaeographer.com
Daguerreotype c 1850. Oblique view. See the project Ghosts in the machine.
Press release from the Ministry of Culture in the UK UK National Museums Get New Powers To Return Human Remains Nine national UK museums, including the British Museum and the Natural History Museum, have this week acquired powers to move human remains out of their collections as the Government brought section 47 of the Human [...]
Last Friday Bill Cockayne (Stanford Humanities Lab Assoc. Director) and I (also in my role as co-Director of Stanford Humanities Lab) were at the local office of DaimlerChrysler – RTNA (Research and Technology North America). In response to their request, we were proposing a project to research the future of car culture, with a focus [...]
9 October I never got to finish my comment on Derrida who died last week. [BBC Link] The obituaries were largely stifled by misunderstanding, outrage, horror and incredulity – have a look at the Guradian’s lamentable list – [Link] Mark Taylor was better in the NYT – [Link] Jacques Derrida Flying back to the US [...]
Mike (Pearson) and I presented a series of performed lectures in the first years of the European Association of Archaeologists annual meetings across Europe – 1991 through 1996. Performed lectures – raising the level of expressive demands upon presenter and audience with intellectual content uncompromised – intermedia presentation dealing in the textures of archaeology and [...]
More media archaeology – not sure why it has taken me so long to come across the Dead Media Project. This is how Bruce Sterling and Richard Kadrey put it in their modest proposal Think of it this way. How long will it be before the much-touted World Wide Web interface is itself a dead [...]
– another reason for the importance of categories and databases One of my interests is the way we use databases to organise and administer the collections that are at the core of our archaeological lives. (And have played a crucial role in state society since ancient Mesopotamia.) Databases – sounds dull and tedious? Have a [...]