Ive reached book two in my festive book token potlatch.
Ian Hodder, Entangled: An Archeology of the Relationship Between Humans and Things.
I had crossed this of the list after straying across it yesterday. I am not sure what I will make of it but I have an interest in the way we become entangled with other things and care for objects.
A thought that developed from the day to day slog of working with things. Be interesting to read a fully formed thesis incorporating the theme.
Also a chance situational factor in the motivation for this purchase. The relationship between Irish monasticism and Star Wars. vox hiberionacum wrote a nice piece contrasting relationships between Jedi culture and ancient Irish monastic culture. Skellig Michael is a stunning ancient monastic site that features in the latest film. Star Wars: Archeology of the Jedi
I’m an archaeologist. I like seeing real archaeology on film. I like seeing how its interpreted, perceived and presented by others in a non archaeological context. But most of all, I like seeing it ‘populated’ with humans. So much of everyday archaeological imagery and focus, particularity early medieval sites, is on the surviving structures, layout and features. Its rare enough that one gets the opportunity to observe such sites being portrayed as ‘lived in’ contemporary locations involving activity and agency
I have some form here in relation to experiance of Star Wars. The best ethnographic moments are those which sneak up unawares. So I had to chip in describing my involvement in arcane cultural rituals and the transportation of relics.
I worked at The Art of Star Wars exhibition some years ago when I was a student. At the end, George Lucas brought in a team of specialists from his Ranch to pack up the exhibition into specially made boxes which cost a fortune.
I watched two of them walk up a long dark corridor and remove darth vaders light saber from its glass case, walk back down with the light streaming on them carrying this piece of plastic with a palpable air of reverence and solemnity with outstretched hands, moving really slowly .
It was truly bizarre.
The transport of a highly prized relic accorded a distinct ritualized and reverential moment before its departure.
Highly memorable if somewhat unexpected.
I think the next exhibition after the art of star wars was one on the Goddodin (ed. 6th to 12th century poem), the artifacts are literally occupying the same cultural space (range of comparative relationships to be made).
Book two done. I like the chance situation and memory that lead me to it. Not read any thesis from archeology for years.
Clunky language, strange terms and Heidegger ( I find his language impossible and unreadable) ahead I suspect. Hopefully I can get past that and find something interesting.
Memory above and my love of early medieval artifacts also shaped the way the above photograph originally titled A Reliquary was shot and edited, mix of observation, memory and imagination that is pleasing when they all melt one into the other. At one and in the moment with the number 27 bus, darth vader and saint columbas reliquary on a wet night at the Chip Inn.
A routine night out in strange places.