Sprache der Dinge – Language of Things

Materialität, Realität und Konfliktivität in Museologie, Archäologie und anderen dinglichen Wissenschaften / Materiality, reality and conflictivity in museology, archaeology and other material sciences


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Heute: Archäologie & Popkultur? Archaeologik schreibt dazu!

Heute möchte ich gerne einen Artikel des Blogs Archaeologik weiterverlinken, denn das Thema “Archäologie & Popkultur”, Archäologie als Marke etc. sind ein großes Thema, über das wir zumindest mal nachdenken sollten!
Rainer Schreg hat dazu großartig gebloggt:  http://archaeologik.blogspot.de/2015/04/archaologie-im-dienst-von-pop-kultur.html

Und übrigens: Rainer Schreg spricht auf der DFUG-Tagung zum ähnlichen Thema. http://archaeologik.blogspot.de/2015/04/schafft-sich-die-offentlichkeit-eine.html

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Citing: Publishing Archaeology: is archaeology relevant? Or is “relevance” irrelevant?

Ich möchte hier gerne einen Link einfügen zu einem Blogbeitrag von Michael Smith, Mesoamerikanistik mit Fokus auf vorspanischer Urbanität.

Sein Artikel: “Publishing Archaeology. Is archaeology relevant? Or is “relevance” irrelevant?” kam über einen Retweet auf meinen Twitteraccount und ich möchte ihn auch gerne hier einfügen.

Bitte, lesen, nachdenken, umdenken!

And in English: 

This link came to me from a retweet and its a blog post by Michael Smith, archaeologist with a special focus on mesoamericanic prehispanic urbanity and neighborhoods as well as communication with other sciences. Its so great that I would like to post it here as well!

Publishing Archaeology. Is archaeology relevant? Or is “relevance” irrelevant?”

Please read, think and think again!


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A digital artefact or: the whole world is entangled. #edcmooc

 

Its been four weeks now and at the “E-Learning & Digital Culture” -mooc we have been through a lot of thinking on how the human & the digital mingle & intertwine. And for weeks now, there has been one word on my mind; calling, teasing, pushing me to inquire further. Its: entanglement. It has already been present at this blog, right from the start: when writing about the concept of the anthropocene or the exposition Human – Object – Jaguar. When talking about the 2013 conference on materiality and things in Berlin. It has always been here, but now it has reached a new level, a clearer perspective.

 

Collage entanglements sprachederdingeblog

Collage entanglements sprachederdingeblog

Entanglement is the thing that offers a historical and futuristic perspective on our relationship to the human & digital world and their supposed opposition. The word “digital artifact” in itself evokes a kind of startling opposition – isn’t an artifact to be actually made by a human – by a human hand & to be actually physical, touchable? Well, the opposition between digital & human disappears when you think of my hands writing this text.

Entanglement:
tr.v. en·tan·gleden·tan·glingen·tan·gles

1. To twist together or entwine into a confusing mass; snarl.
2. To complicate; confuse.
3. To involve in or as if in a tangle” (as seen here). 
And being thus it has, obviously, much to do with the intertwining spheres of human & digital, if we may apply these distinctions. “Entangled” has also been one of the most discussed topics in archaeology in the last 18 months. “Entangled” by Ian Hodder, has brought to mind the human – object – relations, the object – object – relations and the human – human – relations that define ourselves since human beings have appeared on Earth. But: How does this connect to the theme of #edcmooc?
Well, our human relation to the material, object world has always been complex & manyfolded, implying that it´s not only us, the humans, who are changing and forming objects, but objects form us as well. They change us, and our perception of the world. And objects do have lives with other objects, relating and influencing each other. Its an increasingly complex web of relations, defining human and object nature for several tens of thousands of years. In one case, Humans themselves have been described as objects, “emerging out of nowhere and changing everything” (Bryant 2012 cited in Marila 2013).
Collage entanglements sprachederdingeblog

Collage entanglements sprachederdingeblog

And the implications of this definition of entanglements go even further. If we extend this complex web of relationships to our current societies, then the digital & the human world are intertwined as well, influencing each other in a mutual way. Many of the short films that accompanied the mooc have shown this – from marketing ads up to rather philosophical short films. The debate on transhumanism borders on just this question: who are we, and what objects do enhance or change us when we incorporate them into ourselves and our lives? If “tracing entanglement means making our way through a strongly heterogeneous world & following links and chains” (Pollock et al. 2014 on Hodders “Entangled”), overstepping disciplinary boundaries, than the current intertwining of “digital” & “human” or “real” does just that: it opens a whole world of new links & paths. The point is notify you’re  using your smartphone “only” to check on Facebook or if you’re engaging heavily in internet technology & the digital self, discussing topics like transhumanism and a digital life. We are all changing from this new entanglement, even if we don’t use these new objects & technologies.
 
Entanglements & the temporal urge of Dis-Entanglements (aka “simplifying your life”, “get back to the essential(s)”) with objects & technologies have ever been part of human life. There is no such thing as a “humanist” era when technology didn’t influence on our “self”, our “minds” or being. We have always been and will always be in motion with the object world that surrounds us. Its not a question of discussion but a fact – a fact we have to consider carefully to take our own steps in this intertwined world of relationships. How far would you like to go? How much are you disposed to invest? And why do you choose to do so?
Street Art, Berlin, Germany sprachederdingeblog

Street Art, Berlin, Germany sprachederdingeblog

Suggested reading:
Marila, M. (2013) Ian Hodder: Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things , Norwegian Archaeological Review, 46:1, 121-123, DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2013.773367
Pollock, S., R. Bernbeck, C. Jauß, J. Greger, C. von Rüden, S. Schreiber, 2014. Entangled Discussions: Talking with Ian Hodder About His Book Entangled, Berlin, 14. December 2013. Forum Kritische Archäologie 3: 151-161.
P.S. I was searching desperately for online ressources to create my digital artifact in another form than a blog post. But unfortunately, there seems to be nothing as flexible as my blog? I wanted this post to be rather like a digital scrapbook to be thumbed through, with pages for pictures and the like, something that included shortcuts, links and text, together with a flexible insertion of my own pictures and drawing and collages. But I couldn’t find anything like that, or rather: not for free. So – I recurred to blogging, after all!


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Twitter & Archäologie: eine Inspiration! / TWitter & Archaeology: an inspiration!

zu Beginn:

Ich bin immer wieder total erschlagen davon, was archäologie-mäßig bei Twitter stattfindet. Meine Twitter-Timeline  im Rahmen von Archäologie & Museen ist derart aktiv, und zwar deutsch – und englischsprachig, dass sie mich manchmal tatsächlich überfordert. Sie ist aktiver als meine “normale” Timeline mit Menschen, denen ich eher auf privater Ebene folge & gefolgt werde!

Obwohl die deutschen Archäologen im Netz je eher weniger präsent sind, zumindest wenn man es mit dem englisch-sprachigen Raum vergleicht, sind doch auf Twitter einige zu finden, wie etwa @PreinfalkFritz oder @juliabudka. Viele von ihnen teilen Artikel & Veranstaltungsankündigungen, aber auch private Fragen zur Arbeit oder Updates zu ihren Projekten. Das Vernetzen mit Kollegen, wie es hier von John Lowe  bei Can you dig it? dargestellt wird, findet auch statt, allerdings in einem geringeren Maße. Liegt das auch daran, dass momentan noch wenige deutsche Archäologen bei Twitter unterwegs sind? Möglich. Ich würde mir definitiv wünschen, dass auch mehr persönlicher Kontakt auftaucht.

Im Museumsbereich ist die Lage noch interessanter. Hier wird gewittert was das Zeug hält, sei es von Kongressen, #tweetups oder von der Arbeitsfront an sich. Blogeinträge werden angekündigt, besprochen, bewertet. Fotos fliegen hin & her (mein Favorit der letzten Wochen: #museumofselfies , auch zu sehen als Gruppe hier bei Tumblr !).

Hier zwei Beispiele zu #museumofselfies:

 

Was aber tatsächlich ein Knaller ist, ist die Relevanz die Twitter mittlerweile für meine eigene Arbeit hat. Über das Teilen kostenloser Artikel, habe ich nun schon mehrere Texte gefunden, die für meine Keramikanalysen & -interpretation absolut relevant sind. Das v.a. dank des spektakulären @OpenAccessArch , dessen Tweets immer wieder Open-Access-Artikel enthalten, Konferenzankündigen & Calls for Papers.

Auf der anderen Seite ist es so möglich, Konferenzen gerade im Museumswesen ziemlich gut live per Twitter mitzuerleben, und so zumindest eine Idee davon zu erhaschen, welche Themen gerade aktuell sind & wie die Diskussionen laufen. Letztes Beispiel hier war etwa der Hashtag #museumbabel der gleichnamigen Konferenz des Senckenberg-Museums in Frankfurt/Main. Das ist für mich eine wunderbare Möglichkeit dabeizusein, obwohl weder mein Job noch meine Zeit es zulassen, soviel Konferenzen zu besuchen wie ich möchte!

Twitter ist also so etwas wie mein persönliches Information-Update für jeden Tag. Zwar gibt es neue Kontakte und neue Ideen, aber hauptsächlich bleibt es doch bei der Informationsbeschaffung. Ich meine das gar nicht negativ, denn was hier stattfindet, lässt mich trotz einer momentanen Arbeit außerhalb der Archäologie dabei bleiben, zuhören, mitmachen. Relevanz von Twitter fürs Arbeitsleben? Definitiv! Und es ist eine Inspiration!

ENGLISH VERSION

To start with: The TRUTH ON STONEHENGE!

Over and over again I have been overwhelmed by the archaeological activities on Twitter. My TimeLine on archaeology & museums is even more active than the private one I maintain on the side! Posts in English & German keep coming in at all times of the day and in a quantity that is simply overburdening my capacities.

Although German archaeologists are rather under-represented at Twitter and the net in general, especially when comparing with the English speaking world, there are some of them on Twitter. Many of them are sharing articles & data on conferences, but also private opinions about their work and projects. Networking with colleagues as has been described by John Lowe on can you dig it? has been rather sparse until now in my case but it has occurred occasionally. It seems that the German archaeological sphere still relies heavily on personal contact than on virtual presentations. So my Twitter network is mainly British…

In the museum area, things are even more agile. Twitter is constantly used, be it at congresses, with #tweetups from museums or directly from work. Blog posts are being announced, shared and commented, pictures get viral (my personal favorite has been #museumofselfies that can be found on tumblr as well!)

 

But was has come as a real surprise to me has been the relevance Twitter has acquired for my own work. The sharing of open access articles has led to the discovery of various texts that have proved more than relevant for my ceramic analysis and interpretation. That’s mainly due to the spectacular @OpenAccessArch but also thanks to a lot of like minded people out there that are sharing their own work.

On the other hand it has been possible for me to follow conferences, especially in the museum sphere, on Twitter. This allows me to get a glimpse of the current main themes and discussions even when its impossible for me to attend the conferences!

This way, twitter has become something like my personal information update on archaeology and museology every day. There are new contacts and new ideas and overall: new information for me to use and consider. That’s the best opportunity to stay tuned in a field I currently can´t give as much time to as I would like. So, is twitter relevant for my working life? Definitely! And its an inspiration!


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E-Learning and Digital Culture #edcmooc : finishing week 3!

As the course is in English, pardon me if this post will be only available in English, as well.

Though I have been November-ill most of this week, I found some time in between to catch up with the videos and lectures of #edcmooc in this third week. It´s fascinating, because now we are on to something absolutely basic to humans: the question on how we define ourselves as humans and how this relates to the idea of digitally and its impacts on human being and society. After reading & watching the resources, including this great short film “They are made out of meat“, I was definitely wondering on the human – digital nature of our current world. It all depends on where your priority lies when you define something!

Surely, thats a question that comes up every so often when you notice that you are bound to the news on twitter, blogs, etc. When you realize that a smartphone has become a real part of your life, creating networks of persons (well, what persons? real persons? avatars?), well lets say “beings” that are becoming part of your life, that in a certain way you trust in the fact that they are THERE (out there, in any case). So: is this a new level of being human? I haven’t read enough on the subject to revise any theories that may exist, its just that I feel something is changing. Our social life is increasingly immersed in others than the actual “real” spheres of life: meeting in person, speaking (life or on telephone). There are other ways to be inside a peer group and they are virtual.

Now, I have often been asked by older family members if I don’t feel that I am depended on my smartphone. And on the internet. And I have to say that: YES, I have become dependent on it. And with developing this dependency I have learnt to be able to cope with it, balance it, give it the room it needs. And to create and maintain OTHER rooms of relationships as well! Is dependency on new social groups bad or good? Or is it just a new form of interaction? Just as books were considered to be sickening to people who read too much, or TV for people who watch it for hours? And isn’t this all about how we deal with it? It helped me a lot to see historic approaches to “what is human” from antiquity onwards, because it shows you that the integration of new traits in our perception of humanity is a changing and slow process.

It seems to me that we are, right now, in an age where many of us are divided between the people that are online and offline present – and the ones that don’t use online social resources but have a rather pragmatic, informational approach to the use of the internet and digital possibilities. I still can’t see where the Digital Natives fit in, but I hope to find out as my child grows up.

Anyway, being immersed in the sphere of Moocs, constant twitter messages, emails and the like, I cannot help but feel that this is and will become a really big part of our future. We will be immersed in digital life & we will have to come terms with it in order to create a healthy relationship with it.

Personally, I see humanity mainly as the ability and the wish to belong to a social group (or various). This may be a very simplistic definition, but its what for me characterizes a human being in the foremost sense. Any other human elements as well as a critic approach to this wish of belonging, in my opinion, stem from it. In this sense, immersing oneself in new social groups in a digital world is just a logical next step from where we are right now. This blog is just one example of changing the “real” world employing digital means. Creating new networks & reaching out to new people, present in this new space of digitalis. (Guy from Guy Cowleys Blog put my feelings into an image, that can be seen here!)

Extending our space into a digital one is maybe also a logical development when in the “real” world we don’t have nothing left to discover. OUr geography has been out mapped 100 years ago and what is left is outer space – and digital space. I sometimes tend to see digital space like a new land, where you may get lost, encounter wonderful places, adventures and perils. its these human feelings that have remained the same, and we set about this new continent of Digital-Land. Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives are just words that are in line with these feelings.

Sprachederdinge blog #edcmooc

Sprachederdinge blog #edcmooc


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Blogging as Opportunity: Where are you/we going with blogging or would you it like to go? #blogarch

The final question of Doug´s Archaeology on Blogging Archaeology is out: Where are you/we going with blogging or would you it like to go?

In my perception, archaeological blogging is a rather informal way to raise archaoelogical topics without going all the length to a scientific article. Its an opportunity to shape ideas, explore themes I don´t have time to explore in other contexts. And if you understand it this way, the future of archaeological blogging for my personal experience should stay this way. An open space to share ideas.

Sure, I would like to get more followers and traffic, and it would be great to get visitors who are NOT embedded in the merely archaeological realm. But as the blog covers other themes like museology, materiality or art, I am hopeful to get a wider audience as time goes by.

In a broader perspective, I would like to see a growing impact of archaeological blogging, in the archaeological community but more than ever in the wider public, too. In a sense, archaeological blogging to me is a way to be heard, to get to a wider public and to take archaeology out of the ivory tower of science back to the people. Maybe this is different in Germany than in Great Britain or the USA. Here, Archaeology needs to go out and find new followers and new inspiration in order to get back to a standing it once had.

Moreover, archaeological blogging is to me an opportunity to connect our discipline to others – forming a real interdisciplinary space of ideas. This should be the future of archaeological blogging: a space to get to know each other and create new ideas. Be it with a non-archaeological public or with other scientists. In the sense of Web 2.0 as an open, ever changing and ever fluctuating area, this would be a great opportunity!


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What are the goals of Archaeological Blogging? #blogarch

What are the goals of Archaeological Blogging? So, this is a really good question to finish. What are the goals of blogging, anyway? And archaeological blogging, when it comes to that? Whats the relevance of Archaeology, anyway? Is this not just some ivory tower discipline with people digging around in the dirt, searching for gold and jewels? Or for our ancestors?

To be honest, archaeological blogging means very much to me. Of course, there´s my own blog, but there are so many others, all raising the same voice: Archaeology is not irrelevant. Its not obsolete. Its real, its important and it matters to everyone of us, archaeologist or not. In my opinion, history permeates our lives everywhere. But mostly we are not aware of it – not of its presence and even less of how it shapes us and our decisions. Archaeology, to me, is a tool to get to know the past and to COMMUNICATE the past. To make it relevant to all of us, sensitizing ourselves to the impact of the past on our everyday life. The Past is not just some murky, cloudy thing hovering there in the classroom or on our book shelves in (unfortunately often badly written and researched) novels. Its not a past disneyland where kings and queens leave gold and jewels behind. Its so much more. The simple presence of the past can change our lives, at least thats my experience form South America. Archaeology matters.

So, what better way to communicate Archaeology in a non-formal way than blogging? I do not have big budgets to give or much time to spend. I just have myself and a deep belief in archaeology´s relevance. And a capacity to write texts. And so I decided that I would present my view of the Past to the world, putting my grain of sand into the world wide web. There were different experiences with blogging, either here in central Europe or in South America. There were and are problems with accessibility and problems with outreach. But I still think that there is nothing MORE relevant than communicating that Archaeology (and History) matter to us, to our society and to our lives. If we can’t communicate this overall important message, than we shouldn’t wonder that we are continually underfinanced and neglected – or respected only for gold, jewels and Indiana Jones. Gold, jewels and Indiana Jones are part of Archaeology – but they are not its essence.

The essence is something else: the shape of our present is the impact of our past. We should get this point across in whichever way we can. I chose blogging.