Exorcising the ‘plague of fantasies’: mass media and archaeology’s role in the present; or, why we need an archaeology of ‘now’.
World Archaeology, 42(3) pp. 328–340.
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Taking as its starting point Slavoj Žižek’s (1997) The Plague of Fantasies, this paper considers how the electronic mediascape and its contagious practices have come to dominate all areas of contemporary reportage and history-making. It suggests that Web 2.0’s reliance on ‘mob thinking’ and ‘wiki-histories’ can lead to a rapid and widespread erasure of alternative accounts and nondominant narratives. Against this background, the paper explores the urgency of developing an ‘archaeology of now’ which could provide a stimulus for the exploration of marginal and subaltern viewpoints and alternative contemporary histories. Such an archaeology might involve not only a focus on contemporary material evidence, but also the analysis of virtual material culture and the excavation of virtual media to reveal the power structures and micro-histories of the World Wide Web’s dominant narratives. The paper is intentionally provocative, and aims to stimulate a broader engagement with an archaeology of the present.
||2010 Taylor & Francis
||Special Issue: Archaeology and Contemporary Society
||archaeologies of the present; electronic mediascape; Web 2.0; 'mob thinking'; virtual material culture; cyber-archaeology
||Arts > History
|Interdisciplinary Research Centre:
||OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
||19 Oct 2010 11:35
||26 Feb 2016 02:54
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