1st Edition

Diffracting Digital Images Archaeology, Art Practice and Cultural Heritage

    224 Pages 70 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    224 Pages 70 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Digital imaging techniques have been rapidly adopted within archaeology and cultural heritage practice for the accurate documentation of cultural artefacts. But what is a digital image, and how does it relate to digital photography? The authors of this book take a critical look at the practice and techniques of digital imaging from the stance of digital archaeologists, cultural heritage practitioners and digital artists.

    Borrowing from the feminist scholar Karen Barad, the authors ask what happens when we diffract the formal techniques of archaeological digital imaging through a different set of disciplinary concerns and practices. Diffracting exposes the differences between archaeologists, heritage practitioners and artists, and foregrounds how their differing practices and approaches enrich and inform each other. How might the digital imaging techniques used by archaeologists be adopted by digital artists, and what are the potentials associated with this adoption? Under the gaze of fine artists, what happens to the fidelity of the digital images made by archaeologists, and what new questions do we ask of the digital image? How can the critical approaches and practices of fine artists inform the future practice of digital imaging in archaeology and cultural heritage?

    Diffracting Digital Images will be of interest to students and scholars in archaeology, cultural heritage studies, anthropology, fine art, digital humanities, and media theory.

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors

    Foreword and Acknowledgements

    Chapter 1 What is a diffractive digital image?

    Ian Dawson, Andrew Meirion Jones, Louisa Minkin and Paul Reilly

    Chapter 2 Interstitial Images

    Ian Dawson and Louisa Minkin

    Chapter 3 Engaging audiences with digital Blackfoot objects online and in the art gallery

    Christine Clark, Danielle Heavy Head, Josephine Mills and Melissa Shouting

    Chapter 4 Structure from motion: the movement and digital modelling of an artefact from the Blackfoot collections, British Museum

    Louisa Minkin, Thomas Allison and Andrew Meirion Jones

    Chapter 5 The Paranoiac-Critical Method of Reflectance Transformation Imaging

    Bernd Behr

    Chapter 6 The work of the miniature in the age of digital reproduction

    Stuart Jeffrey

    Chapter 7 Temporal Ripples in Art/Archaeology Images

    Simon Callery, Ian Dawson and Paul Reilly

    Chapter 8 The Inhabited Frame: Examining the Archaeological Image in the Era of Interactive Media

    Nicole Smith, Gareth Beale and Rachel Opitz

    Chapter 9 Digitalising ephemerality: Preserving and utilising the transient trace in Athens urban landscape through digital approaches in the field of fine art

    Panagiotis Ferentinos

    Chapter 10 Four-dimensional and multi-dimensional images: diffracting archaeological images and computational imagings

    Andrew Meirion Jones

    Chapter 11 Commentary

    Marcus Jack Dostie

    Chapter 12 Making the Image a Process – On Commitment and Care in Entangled Worlds

    Mihaela Brebenel




    Ian Dawson has exhibited worldwide and lectures at Winchester School of Art. His background in sculpture (Making Contemporary Sculpture, Crowood Press, 2012) has led to research focusing on the intersection between 3D additive processes and digital imaging technologies. He has recently collaborated with the Compound 13 Lab to explore 3D printing and plastic recycling in Dharavi, Mumbai, India (2020). 

    Andrew Meirion Jones is Professor of Archaeology, Department of Archaeology and Classics, Stockholm University, Sweden. His research interests include the archaeology of Stone Age Europe, art and material culture, and digital imaging. He is currently working on the Concepts Have Teeth project with Ian Dawson and Louisa Minkin.

    Louisa Minkin is Reader in Visual Art Practices, University of the Arts, London; and Course Leader for MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. She is Principal Investigator on the AHRC networking project Concepts Have Teeth and Teeth that Bite through Time: digital imaging and Blackfoot material culture in UK museums.

    Paul Reilly is Senior Research Fellow of Digital Archaeology, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, UK. His research interests include creative digital archaeology and art/archaeology. His most recent research explores the theoretical implications of the growing intersection of physical and digital (or phygital), practices for art, archaeology, and cultural heritage.