Designers: Elizabeth Murphy and Krysta Ryzewski (Brown)
Artists: Dennis Braekmans (KU Leuven), Ioanna Kakoulli (UCLA), Elizabeth Murphy, Krysta Ryzewski
This exhibit, displayed at TAG 2010, Brown University, presents eight large-format, two-dimensional photographic portraits illustrating microscopic details of archaeological metals, glass, paint, stone, and ceramics. The concept for this exhibit emerged from a series of professional collaborations and discussions during which we, the contributors, realized that we each maintained a personal collection of images that we favored for their aesthetic appeal, as well as for their archaeological information about production processes. While each of the four archaeologists / contributing artists conduct research that blends archaeological theory with materials science, all are admittedly situated in different locations along the science-humanities / theory-method spectrum of the discipline. These personal art collections are designed to inspire future conversations across and beyond the locational grounds of archaeological practice.
Collected using a variety of microscopic techniques, the portraits began as familiar, conventional archaeometric micrographs of material properties, performance, and structure. In their larger-scale presentation, however, the aesthetic and artistic potential of the images exploit traditional portraiture formats. These portraits frame and visualize unorthodox subject matter from the hard sciences in an intentional play on otherwise invisible vestiges of production.
The 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 archaeomaterials’ microscale features. The outcome is a co-production rooted in the archaeological assemblage, but then reassembled through multiple mediators – archaeological artifacts, instruments, digital images, printed paper, and frames. The series of mediations, which produced these images, and which these images produce, move away from technical depictions and towards more transformative, non-traditional practices of representation.
Production Portraits Bibliography
Bowker, G. 2005 Memory Practices in the Social Sciences.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977 Outline of a Theory of Practice.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993 The Field of Cultural Production.
Callon, M. and J. Law 1997 After the individual in society: lessons on collectivity from science, technology and society. Canadian Journal of Sociology
Chilton, Elizabeth 1998 “The Cultural Origins of Technical Choice: Unraveling Algonquian and Iroquois Ceramic Traditions in the Northeast,” in The Archaeology of Social Boundaries. Edited by Miriam T. Stark, pp. 132-160. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Clark, John E. (1995). Craft Specialization as an Archaeological Category. Research in Economic Anthropology 16: 267-294.
Costin, Cathy L. (1991). Craft Specialization: Issues in Defining, Documenting, and Explaining the Organization of Production. In Archaeological Method and Theory, Vol. 3, edited by Michael B. Schiffer, pp. 1-56. Tuscon, AZ: University of Arizona Press.
Costin, Cathy L. and Melissa B. Hagstrum (1995). Standardization, Labor Investment, Skill, and the Organization of Ceramic Production in Late Pre-hispanic Highland Peru. American Antiquity 60(4): 619-639.
Costin, C. Thinking about Production: Phenomenological Classification and Lexical Semantics (in Rethinking Production)
Deitler, M. and Herbich. 1998 Habitus, Techniques, Style: An Integrated Approach to the Social Understanding of Material Culture and Boundaries, in The Archaeology of Social Boundaries. Edited by M. Stark, pp. 232-63. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Flad, Rowan K., and Zachary X. Hruby (2007). “Specialized” Production in Archaeological Contexts: Rethinking Specialization, the Social Value of Products, and the Practice of Production. In, Rethinking Craft Specialization in Complex Societies: Archaeological Analyses of the Social Meaning of Production, edited by Zachary X. Hruby, and Rowan K. Flad. Berkeley: American Anthropological Association and the University of California Press. Pp. 1-19.
Ingold, Tim 1993 Tool-Use, Sociality and Intelligence. In K.R. Gibson and T. Ingold, Tools, Language, and Cognition in Human Evolution, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 429-445.
Ingold, Timothy 2000 The Perception of the Environment. Essays in livelihood, dwelling and skill. Routledge, London.
Inomata, T. Knowledge and Belief in Artistic Production by Classic Maya Elites, in Rethinking Production.
Latour, B. 2005 Intro to Reassembling the Social.
Latour, Bruno 1986 Visualization and cognition: Thinking with eyes and hands. Knowledge and Society: Studies in the Sociology of Culture, Past and Present, 6: 1-40.
Latour, B. and Woolgar, S. 1986  Laboratory Life: The construction of scientific facts
Law, J. 2002 Decentering the Object in Technoscience
Lemonnier, Pierre (1986). The Study of Material Culture Today: Toward an Anthropology of Technical Systems. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 5: 147-186.
Lemonnier, Pierre 1992 Elements for an Anthropology of Technology (entire book)
Leroi-Gourhan, A. 1964 La Geste et la Prole: Technique et Language. Paris: Albim Michel.
Marx, Karl 2002 The machine verses the worker. In The Social Shaping of Technology. D. MacKenzie and J. Wajcman (eds), Second Edition. Buckingham: Open University Press. 156-58.
Pfaffenberger, Bryan 1992 Social Anthropology of Technology. Annual Review of Anthropology 21:419-516.
Rice, Prudence M. (1981). Evolution of Specialized Pottery Production:A Trial Model. Current Anthropology 22: 219-240.
Ryzewski, Krysta (ed) 2009 Experience, Modes of Engagement, Archaeology, Themed issue of Archaeologies 5(3), the journal of the World Archaeological Congress
Shackel, Paul A. (2000). Craft to Wage Labor: Agency and Resistance in American Historical Archaeology. In Agency in Archaeology, edited by Marcia-anne Dobres and John E. Robb, pp. 232-246. New York and London: Routledge.
Shanks and McGuire 1996 The craft of Archaeology. American Antiquity 61(1)
van der Merwe, Nikolaas J. and Donald H. Avery (1987). Science and Magic in African Technology: Traditional Iron Smelting in Malawi. Africa 57(2): 143-172.
Van Der Leeuw, S. 2008 Agency, Networks, Past and Future. In Knappett and Malafouris, eds. Material Agency
Wailes, Bernard. (ed) Craft Specialization and Social Evolution: In Memory of Gordon Childe, University Museum Monograph, edited by Bernard Wailes, pp. 123-132. Philadelphia, PA: Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.
Webmoor, Timothy and Christopher Witmore 2007 Things are Us! A Commentary on Human/Things Relations under the Banner of a ‘Social’ Archaeology, Norwegian Archaeological Review, 40(2):1-18.