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TAG 2010: ARTS PROGRAM


Paralleling the TAG 2010’s theme ‘The Location of Theory’, the TAG 2010 Arts Program explores the mobilization, placement and mediation of theory through emerging post-disciplinary collaborations between archaeology and the contemporary arts. Featuring site-responsive installation, performance, video, augmented reality and digital and interventionist art, the TAG 2010 Arts Program showcases the creativity of new interpretive practices in archaeology and the unique vibrancy of the Brown University student community.

The TAG 2010 Arts Program is coordinated by Ian Russell and supported by Omur Harmansah, Karen Holmberg, Bradley Sekedat, Sue Alcock and Sarah Sharpe.

Featured events and exhibits (scroll down the page for further information and descriptions):


Friday


Brown University Taiko Drumming
Friday, 30 April 530 pm


Saturday


Carneddau : Stone
Aaron Watson (Monumental.uk.com)
Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

In Transit
John Schofield (University of York) & Greg Bailey (University of Bristol)
Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

IRAC Intervention #1 – Avebury, Wiltshire
Andrew Cochrane & Ian Russell
Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

The Museum of Westminster: A revisitation
Lyra Monteiro (Brown University) & Andrew Losowsky
Saturday, 1 May 115-200pm

An Exploration of Site-Specific Dance
Elise Nuding (Brown University)
Saturday, 1 May 2010, 1230-230pm

Green Screen
Brown University Student Creative Arts Council
Saturday, 1 May 2010, 2-9pm


Sunday


Personal Histories of Archaeological Theory & Method
Pamela Smith (University of Cambridge)
Sunday, 2 May 2010, 9am-6pm (on loop)

Under the Tower of Babel: A Poster Session
Organised by Ömür Harmanşah (Brown University) with his students
Sunday, 2 May 1230-200pm


Throughout the Weekend


Roadscore: Invisible String
Fiona Hallinan curated by Ian Russell (Brown University)
Friday-Sunday, 30 April-2 May 11-5pm

Present absences: A peripatetic video of a temporary site-specific sculpture by Patrick Dougherty
Christopher Witmore (Texas Tech University), Megan Goetsch and Ian Russell
Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010

Wear Is the Location of Theory: An Audio Schematic of TAG2010
Bochay Drum (Brown University)
Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010

Physical Geology/ Corn Rocks/A Brief History of the Earth
Ilana Halperin (Glasgow), Keith Edmier (New York), Seth Kelly (New York) in collaboration with Karen Holmberg (Brown University)
Saturday & Sunday, 1&2 May, 9am-6pm (on loop; ~5 min each)

Production Portraits: Confronting Convention, Craft and (Re)Creativity in Material Representation
Elizabeth Murphy (Brown University) & Krysta Ryzewski (Brown University)
Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010



FRIDAY



A special performance by Brown University Taiko Drumming


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Friday 30 April 530 pm, MacMillan Hall Green, Brown University Taiko Drumming will perform immediately prior to the Plenary Session.

More information: http://students.brown.edu/taiko/home.html



SATURDAY



Carneddau : Stone (2006) (19m13s)


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Aaron Watson (a.watson@monumental.uk.com)

Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

Common Room, 1st Floor, Rhode Island Hall

Set upon the frost-shattered mountains of north Wales, the Carneddau project is not governed by conventions of site recording or publication. My methods are walking, video recording, sound recording and photography.

This film is a freeform exploration of the relations between an archaeologically trained fieldworker and a landscape made almost entirely of stone.

More information at: http://www.monumental.uk.com

Reference: Watson, A. 2009. Carneddau : Stone. In B. O’Connor, G. Cooney, and J. Chapman (eds), Materialitas: working stone, carving identity, 75-92. Prehistoric Society Research Paper 3. Oxford: Oxbow.


In Transit (2006) (14m42s)


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John Schofield (University of York) & Greg Bailey (University of Bristol)

Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

Common Room, 1st Floor, Rhode Island Hall

In 2006, University of Bristol archaeologists launched an innovative project: "excavating" a 1991 Ford transit van, used by archaeologists and others. This is an exercise in methodology: to see what can be learnt about a commonplace but complex object through modern archaeological analysis. It explore archaeology's potential contribution to understanding society's use of such objects and examines the very nature of contemporary archaeology. See in this video how, amid science and method, a rusting transit van can conjure up both enchantment and melancholy.

More information at: http://www.archaeologychannel.org/content/film/festival2008/InTransit.htm


IRAC Intervention #1 – Avebury, Wiltshire (2007) (4m13s)


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Ian Russell (Brown University) & Andrew Cochrane (Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art)

Saturday, 1 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

Common Room, 1st Floor, Rhode Island Hall

Recent criticisms of the phenomenological approach to understanding how some people in the past engaged with an environment have highlighted the predominance of depictions of protagonists romantically strolling through the landscape. It is perhaps ironic that sites which were once locations of toil, exertion and struggle are now almost only approached as areas for leisure and reflection. This video seeks to explore alternative engagements with the present past. Inspired by the art of free running, we move – both theoretically and physically – away from more sedate preambles and enactments. We choose instead to explore the performance of running through space and place. Through a rapid, visceral engagement with space, the capricious possibilities of engagement are confronted both as pleasure and pain. The ground creates the canvas, with bipedal locomotion the ‘frame by frame’ for new experience. Via the process of time lapse pixilation, we present a three minute moving picture of us performing through and in an archaeological complex. Stop-motion animation prompts re-animated discussion.

More interventions can be found here: http://www.iarchitectures.com/irac.html


The Museum of Westminster: A revisitation


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Lyra Monteiro (Brown University) and Andrew Losowsky (Brown University)

Saturday, 1 May 115-200pm, Westminster Street

Meet at 100pm in the Rhode Island Hall Atrium to walk over

On Saturday 1 May, interventionist curators Lyra Monteiro and Andrew Losowsky will recreate a small exhibition from the Museum of Westminster and be in conversation with attendees of TAG. A wonderful opportunity to learn a bit about Providence’s urban life and histories while engaging with art and archaeology, this is well worth a short trip down from College Hill.

About the Museum of Westminster: On Friday March 5th and Saturday March 6th, two blocks of one of the city's busiest streets were transformed into a museum about itself. Hundreds of museum labels were placed on windows, buildings, inside stores, on lampposts, parking meters, even on people, sharing remarkable stories from one of New England's most historic areas. The stories from these two blocks combined past events and current experiences, to help people understand the world around them in a new way. They included the widow poisoned with arsenic-laced whisky, the high-school teacher who bartended for the Vanderbilts, the tech consultant who grew up behind the Berlin Wall, and the civil rights activist born above her father's Chinese restaurant on Westminster Street. Deliberately designed to question what a museum is and who it serves, The Museum Of Westminster Street takes the language and methodology of the museum world, and moves it onto the street.

More information on Lyra and Andrew’s work is available here: http://www.westminsterstories.com & http://www.themuseumonline.com


An Exploration of Site-Specific Dance


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Elise Nuding (Brown University)

Saturday, 1 May 2010, 1230-230pm, corner of North Main Street and Steeple Street

This project has grown out of ongoing research into the urban and architectural history of Providence and a developing interest in exploring the present day uses of these places through performance, specifically dance. A key aspect of my creative process is research into the history of the site and the changes that have occurred to its built environment. Whilst this research informs my choreography, it is not reflected in a linear narrative. Rather, this exploration of site-specific choreography comes from an interest in investigating how a site can inform movement. Of equal interest is how site-specific dance affects the way that people view a site, and how they relate to it after it has been activated by performance.


Green Screen

Brown University Student Creative Arts Council

Saturday, 1 May 2010, 2-9pm, College Green

Green Screen is a seven-hour exhibition/event of site-specific, interactive sculpture, installations and performances which will be held in the central hub of Brown University's campus; the main green. GREEN SCREEN will explore how art can form a dialogue with the space it inhabits and how this dialogue can both reconfigure spatial interactions and create entirely new environments. Extending from early afternoon to evening, Green Screen will also feature a series of programs to complement the pieces, including but not limited to, artist talks, performances, video screenings, a reception and curator-led tours.



SUNDAY



Roadscore: Invisible String


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Fiona Hallinan curated by Ian Russell (Brown University)

30 April - 25 October 2010 Open: M-F 2-5pm

Special TAG openings: 1 & 2 May 11-5pm

Carriage House Gallery

John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage

Nightingale-Brown House 357 Benefit Street

Official opening reception hosted by the Consulate General of Ireland, Boston 5-7pm, 1 May 2010

Invisible String is the first iteration of Roadscore a new series of work by artist Fiona Hallinan exploring mobility, memory and materiality. It takes the form of an exhibition and a site-responsive sound installation relating to the demise and demolition of the original stretch of highway I-195 in downtown Providence, RI. Resulting from a residency at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Fiona will collaborate with Ian Russell and the students of his 'Designing Heritages' course to create an open studio in the Nightingale-Brown House of their efforts of chorography, deep mapping and contemporary antiquarianism through drawings, photographs, narratives and audio recordings relating the life of old I-195. Exploring new media applications of traditional Irish storytelling (seanchaí), Fiona will produce a peripatetic sound installation activating relations between the studio, stories and material traces and absences of the highway. The audio piece will be available to be collected and experienced either at the John Nicholas Brown Center and online (http://www.iarchitectures.com/roadscore.html).

Fiona’s residency is supported by a grant from Culture Ireland. Uploaded Image


Personal Histories of Archaeological Theory & Method


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Panela Jane Smith (University of Cambridge)

Sunday, 2 May, 9am-6pm (on loop)

Common Room, 1st Floor, Rhode Island Hall

A selection of videos from the 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 Personal Histories Panels, an ongoing, informative project spearheaded by Pamela Jane Smith of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University. Each year, during term, senior scientists are invited to share their memories and life histories. Through oral history and recollections, we can understand twentieth-century science and the development of anthropology. Individuals featured thus far include Colin Renfrew, Mike Schiffer, Meg Conkey, Richard Bradley, Meave Leakey and David Attenborough. More information at: http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/personal-histories/


Under the Tower of Babel: Modernity, Nationalist Discourse and Archaeological Politics in the Modern Middle East - A Poster Session

Organized by Ömür Harmanşah (Brown University), with students Katherine C. Blessing, Eric S. Johnson, Valerie E. Bondura, Andrew D. Seiden, Megan R. Boomer, Ariel J. Isaacs, Kaley N. Curtis, Meredith P. Epstein, Ana C. Escobedo, Katrina L. Post and Meghan R. Koushik

Sunday, 2 May 2010, 1230-200 pm

Graduate Studio, 2nd Floor, Rhode Island Hall

Our understanding of the past is profoundly impacted by political ideologies of the present. In this poster session, we explore the use and abuse of archaeological pasts among the modern nation states in the Middle East since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Who suggested that Hittites were the ancestors of Turks and what role does it play in contemporary Turkish education? How were the Dead Sea Scrolls presented in the media? Why did Saddam Hussein consider himself the last Babylonian king? How was the 2500th anniversary of the founding of the Persian Empire celebrated at Persepolis in 1971? What are the Wahhabi perceptions of cultural heritage? How were ancient artifacts incorporated into a symbology of the nation state on coins, bills and stamps?

Discussing the constructions of secular modernity in the formation of modern nation states, we study the integration of imagined ancient pasts and cultural heritage in the making of collective identities and state ideologies. While we explore archaeological activities that intended to satisfy such needs, we interrogate how the pervasive force of archaeology became nationalistic obsession since the late 19th century. Students worked in groups of two or individually on a specific case studies of the political engagements of archaeology in the Middle East. Inspired by the visual culture of nationalism and 20th century political art, they visualize, narrate and question the intersections of archaeology with coloniality, modernity and nationalism in culturally specific and historically nuanced contexts.



THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND



Present absences: A peripatetic video of a temporary site-specific sculpture by Patrick Dougherty


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Christopher Witmore (Texas Tech University), Megan Goetsch and Ian Russell (Brown University)

Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010

Available as a podcast for mobile devices through iTunesU & via the Layar Reality Browser for (http://layar.com/)

Some mobile devices will be available at the TAG Registration desk in the Rhode Island Hall Atrium.


Peripatetic video is a form of located media which is intended to manifest previous performances, experiences, or events that occurred in a given place at a later moment in that same place. Peripatetic video works through the active overlay of video and sound footage upon the same physical background through the intermediary of a small video camera with LCD screen and surround stereo headphones.

In 2006, Christopher Witmore and Megan Goetsch, inspired by artist Janet Cardiff, undertook to create a peripatetic video walk responding to the installation of a new temporary sculpture by artist Patrick Dougherty on Brown’s College Green. Four years later, Dougherty’s sculpture is no more, and collaborating with Ian Russell, the original video from 2006 has been re-edited and is now represented allowing visitors to explore the present absences of the architecture of Dougherty’s temporary installation. The video is available as a podcast for mobile devices (both through iTunesU and the Layar Reality Browser), and a map is available online to orientate visitors to the beginning of the walk.

Maps & download links available at: http://www.iarchitectures.com/presentabsences.html

More information about Chris’s peripatetic projects: http://proteus.brown.edu/witmore/2241


Wear Is the Location of Theory: An Audio Schematic of TAG2010


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Bochay Drum (Brown University)

Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010

Various locations and buildings around College Green

This audio piece assembles a sonic model from the texts and voices of the theory practitioners of TAG 2010. The audio will be deployed from discreet bodily and architectural locations at the 2010 conference. In this piece, a schematic cartography of theory is modeled as follows: texts and voices that speak to and for theory are comingled, fermented and stored in virtual representative space as digital audio files. This collaged assemblage will form a theoretical theoretical archaeology group, whose remixed theory will then be deployed by wireless radio transmission to bodies and boxes, whereupon it is transduced into mechanical waves to entreat the ears. The location of theory is messy but traceable, even through the ethereal realms of textual and digital representation, analog transmission, and cognitive identifications of self and other (kind and unkind). This piece seeks to answer the question of ‘What is the Location of Theory’ by modeling the deployment, transformation, transmission, redeployment and re-encounter with theory for TAG 2010 participants.


Physical Geology/ Corn Rocks/A Brief History of the Earth


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Ilana Halperin (Glasgow), Keith Edmier (New York), Seth Kelly (New York), in collaboration with Karen Holmberg (Brown University)

Saturday & Sunday, 1&2 May, 9am-6pm (on loop; ~5 min each)

Mezzanine, 3rd Floor, Rhode Island Hall

Geological phenomena, human perception of the natural world, and the archaeological process provide the shared focus of these interlinked video shorts. The ecofact/artifact division and its messy bifurcation provide a center of fascination for each of the three artists. In Physical Geology (2009), Halperin watches a new landmass form in Hawaii as lava oozes into the sea; she cracks open a lava bomb, which becomes for her an instant artifact. In Corn Rocks (2009), Edmier creates mimetic copies of local Providence corn in molten basalt. In so doing he draws on archaeological interpretations of corn cobs apotropaically placed in the flow of a prehistoric eruption of Sunset Crater volcano to create molds. In A Brief History of the Earth (2010), Kelly uses fossils and paving stones from around the world to represent the intersection or overlapping in space-time of the varied processes of display, identification, and cognition.


Production Portraits: Confronting Convention, Craft, and (Re)Creativity in Material Representation

Elizabeth Murphy (Brown University) & Krysta Ryzewski (Brown University)

Saturday & Sunday, 1 & 2 May 2010

Rhode Island Hall Atrium

This exhibit presents large-format, 2-D pictures and accompanying dialogue/chat boxes that illustrate microscopic details of archaeological metals, glass, and ceramics. The images were collected and manipulated by a group of archaeologists whose research blends archaeological theory with materials science, but who are also admittedly situated in different locations along the science-humanities / method-theory spectrum. Taken with a range of optical, electron, and other microscopes, the images began as familiar, conventional archaeometric documents of the crafted materials’ properties, performance, and structure. In their larger-scale format, however, the aesthetic and artistic potential of both images and crafted objects are exploited in an intentional play with otherwise invisible microscopic views of production. Written response cards will be provided for the audience in order to facilitate audience-artist dialogue that will subsequently be posted on an exhibit wiki page.

These images are deliberate manipulations of scale, materiality, and production; they are designed to act as intersections of multiple theoretical conversations and they are poised to expose, interrogate, and disrupt sets of established relationships and assumptions pervasive in the practice and theory of archaeology. As co-produced and re-produced modes of engagement, the images are simultaneously art forms (the picture) and records of craft processes (the constituents) captured in the materials’ microscale features. The outcome is a co-production rooted in the archaeological assemblage, but then reassembled through the re-production of large-format imagery. The series of mediations that produced these images, and which these images produce, move away from descriptions and towards more transformative, non-traditional practices of representation. These particular snapshots offer a basis for exploring topics that are difficult, if not impossible, to grasp in other formats. The exhibit invites archaeologists to engage these images and to operate outside of sub-disciplinary comfort zones by drawing theoretical attention to issues of scale, the production of images, supposed divisions between the hard sciences and the humanities or creative arts, supposed disparities between art and craft, embodied engagements and notions of co-presence and sensory experience, tensions in production and re-production processes (from crafting objects, to scientific instrumentation as mediators, to creation of aesthetic imagery), discomfort with science and unfamiliar structures of objects and heterogeneous networks of human-material interactions.

Underlying these art-craft presentations are two recognitions: first, that the heterogeneity and complex relationships between material and human actors are as much present in the process of manufacture as they are in the produced object, and second, that experiences (with art, craft, and materials) are simultaneously mediated by the human body, material culture, and multimedia through these aesthetic modes of engagement.



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