Archiving realtime archaeological (para)data or archiving archaeological (para)data realtime?

Submitted by Isto Huvila on Fri, 11/09/2018 - 19:21

Presentation at the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) 2019 conference in Krakow, Poland.


Recording of the talk is available on the Recording archaeology YouTube channel at thanks to Doug Rocks-Macqueen  who has been filming CAA and other archaeology conference presentations for years.


The apparent differences between realtime capturing, reflexive making and not-quite-realtime documentation of archaeological data have multiple implications in the context of archaeological practices and knowledge work. They have consequences to what the data is and how it can contribute to the making of archaeological knowledge but also to what and how we can know about the making of the data. From this perspective a better understanding of the notion of realtime and the nature of realtime archaeological data can be argued to be helpful in framing and unraveling a part of the problem of how to capture enough contextual information about data creation processes, so called paradata. 

Based on the insights gathered during the work conducted in the context of COST action ARKWORK and research project ARKDIS, this presentation discusses the notion of realtime, and the relation of realtime and non-realtime documentation from the perspective of archiving and describing archaeological data. The enquiry on the issue suggests that while the realtime and non-realtime documentation lead to different information (and consequentially knowledge), documenting the data (metadata) and the process of making/capturing it (paradata), also require radically different methods of documentation. The presentation concludes by exploring Flusser's distinction between traditional (or 'imaginieren’) and technical (‘einbilden’) images as a potential conceptual apparatus to shed light to their differences.

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