Colonial archaeological methods often leave artefacts very clean and polished and take time to repair cracks after excavation and exhuming the objects. Information is stripped away as archaeologists handle the artefacts. From the vessels buried in the ground to the vitrine displays in museums, archaeology removes extra information leaving the objects stripped. In order to critique archaeology's slow erasure of the value of objects, I have digitally modelled 16 speculative scenes.
I cut up different photographs of the same daily life scene in equal proportions into 'fragments'. These fragments of life are taken from scenes from Sebastia, the archaeological site in Palestine, which was our case study this year. The fragments of everyday life in Sebastia, of men drinking coffee and children playing in the Roman forum, are then used to supplement the voids to recreate the scene as much as possible. These fragments can be combined to form many contexts of everydayness. In the process of constantly restoring everydayness, the value is somehow reinstated within the artefact. Adding in addition to the physical artefact a layer of sound, the puzzle becomes alive with data and value from the archaeological site, but instead of the focus on the archaeological artefacts extracted from the underground, the value comes from the scenes from the living city instead.
The display is designed as an interactive installation that brings the viewer and Sebastia closer together and overcomes the obstacles of other power. This display, intimate and possible to touch and play with, is also designed to react to the off-limits and protective glass vitrines that house the archaeological artefacts in museums where the artefacts can't have intimacy and be heard. The objects are understood in many ways, breaking the polished and extractive approach of archaeology.