Different expressions of the same mode: a recent dialogue between archaeological and contemporary drawing practices

Stefan Gant, Paul Reilly

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


In this article we explore what we perceive as pertinent features of shared experience at the excavations of an Iron Age Hillfort at Bodfari, North Wales, referencing artist, archaeologist and examples of seminal art works and archaeological records resulting through inter-disciplinary collaboration. We explore ways along which archaeological and artistic practices of improvisation become entangled and productive through their different modes of mark-making. We contend that marks and memories of artist and archaeologist alike emerge interactively, through the mutually constituting effects of the object of study, the tools of exploration, and the practitioners themselves, when they are enmeshed in the cross-modally bound activities. These include, but are not limited to, remote sensing, surveying, mattocking, trowelling, drawing, photographing, videoing and sound recording. These marks represent the co-signatories: the gesture of the often anonymous practitioners, the voice of the deposits, as well as the imprint of the tools, and their interplay creates a multi-threaded narrative documenting their modes of intra-action, in short our practices. They occupy the conceptual space of paradata, and in the process of saturating the interstices of digital cognitive prosthetics they lend probity to their translations in both art form and archive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-120
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Visual Art Practice
Issue number1
Early online date13 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Archaeology
  • craftwork
  • contemporary drawing
  • embodied practice
  • meta-learning
  • paradata


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