Ruin Memories: Materiality, aesthetics and the archaeology of the recent past

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  • Documents (8)

  • Approaching Eyri: Photographs, Memos and Ruin Memories  (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Þóra Pétursdóttir.

    The use of photography and the meaning of the photograph in our dealings with modern ruins and ruination has been a much discussed topic in workshops, seminars and less formal contexts during the four year life of the Ruin Memories project. This discussion has often been driven by a critique of how photography has come to dominate our approaches, hinting that it may be an "easy way out" – touching the surface of things instead of properly digging them for knowledge. With reference to my work...

  • Conduits of Dispersal. Dematerializing an early twentieth century village in Iceland. (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gavin Lucas.

    This paper explores the process of ruination in terms of networks and channels of dispersal; how the materiality of a whole village is stripped by various agencies which move things along. Drawing especially on recent work in human geography and new mobility and materiality turn, this study takes an industrial fishing village on an island in the bay of Reykjavík to examine the processes and conduits through which the village is de-materialized. The village was established at the beginning of the...

  • Modern Ruins in the Age of Sustainability (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Mats Burstrom.

    Preservation is an essential part of heritage management; sites and monuments are protected in order to be kept intact for the future. Accordingly site managers encounter difficulties dealing with sites whose foremost qualities are the processes of change and decay that they are undergoing. It would seem that cultural heritage should be forever or not at all. The belief in this kind of ‘eternal’ perspective is in no way new, but the present preoccupation with sustainability has reinforced it and...

  • Modern Ruins: Revealing the Other Face of Things (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Bjornar J Olsen.

    Modern ruins hold an ambiguous position in both academic and public discourse. By blurring established cultural categories of past and present, purity and dirt, waste and heritage, they become matter out of place and out of time. In this paper I draw attention to another source for this ambiguity, at the same time disturbing and attracting, and which is argued constitutes a crucial aspect of their ruin value: the manifestation of things in their released otherness. 

  • My Father's Things (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Hein B. Bjerck.

    In the morning of April 5 2009 my father died; he was almost 86 years old. He lived alone, was in good health, and died suddenly. The confrontation with his silenced house was perhaps the worst moment of all. It was here, amidst his material realm, that I could see for myself that he was gone. At the same time, I realized that I had lost more than my father. My father’s home was changed into a material construction.  The human component – my dad – was the coherent force that had kept this...

  • Palliative curation in the reluctant ruin (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Caitlin DeSilvey.

    The ruins of the recent past pose a management riddle for those who must decide their fate. Options for action oscillate between removal and eradication on the one hand, and restoration and elevation to the status of heritage object on the other. While some sites have actively embraced a philosophy of continued ruination, this approach must contend with continual calls for stabilisation (or demolition). Ultimately, those who manage such spaces must be seen to be ‘doing something’, beyond...

  • Participant Discussion: 20 minutes (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Þóra Pétursdóttir.

    Participant Discussion: 20 minutes

  • A thousand ruins: an alternative history of contemporary Spain. (2013)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Alfredo González-Ruibal.

    An alternative history of late modern Spain can be narrated through its ruins. In this paper, I will examine the debris of different modernist dreams that were shattered by the Spanish Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship. I will argue that the ruins of utopia are not exactly remnants of the past, but of the future - or rather, an alternative time that is made of both. From this point of view, they allow us to problematize notions of temporality in archaeology and envisage richer...