Monstrous images of the past: photorealism and non-photorealism in archaeological information work

Date: 
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 - 08:15 to Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 17:45

Presentation at the panel Monstrous Materialities at IFIP WG 8.2. Working Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Abstract

We argue that archaeological visualisations of the past form together with their makers and spectators a cyborg. The aim of this article is to show how these cyborgs reside in a human-technology continuum and how the nexus of agency is shifting and can be (attempted to be) shifted from humans to technologies and back by appropriating technologies in specific ways in a social context. The findings show that a life-like photorealistic visualisation, as an example of an information technology, can be seen as monstrous if it is considered as imposed difficult to control technology that expropriates agency of human actors. In contrast, a non-photorealistic, less life- like visualisations can be seen as less monstrous because of their reminiscence of traditional illustrations and lower level of detail. Implications of the monstrosity of technologies for information work in archaeology, and for other social and technical information technologies including information systems, information services and information literacy are discussed.

Archaeology and Archaeological Information in the Digital Society shows how the digitization of archaeological information, tools and workflows, and their interplay with both old and new non-digital practices throughout the archaeological information process, affect the outcomes of archaeological work, and in the end, our general understanding of the human past.

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Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account: implications of a neglected element for success- ful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults (HIBA) is an Academy of Finland funded research project at Åbo Akademi University.

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Sheds new light on the potential of extra-academic knowledge-making as a contribution in formations of knowledge throughout society, explores extra-academic knowledge as a useful resource in academy, policy development, evidence based practices, and innovation, and focuses on the informational dimensions, stemming from and grounded in an informationscience perspective, which provides the means to address practical information-related issues throughout knowledge-making processes.

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