C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminar - Visual translations of ancient heritage - Melanie Levick-Parkin, Visual Communication
Event contact Alison Honnor
The purpose of this ADRC-funded, practice-led research project was the visual re-contextualisation of ancient European script – Linear A and B, using contemporary visual communication practices and media strategies in order to explore opportunities for creative engagement witharchaeological knowledge. Archaeology can grant us access to our history by allowing us encounters with remnants of the past, but how these remnants are translated for us, read by us and what we believe that they tell us is intimately tied up with the context of our own contemporary culture. What role can contemporary visual communication practices play in communicating archaeological knowledge to young audiences by overcoming potential aesthetic or media based barriers?
Like visual design, ancient script deals with visual presentation of meaning and is directly relevant in relation to Frutiger’s interest in archetypes and Neurath’s Isotype collection. Under the guidance of a specialist Archaeologist advisor and two Design researchers, a team of visual communication designers used their individual creative practices to visually re-contextualise the oldest deciphered and un-deciphered European scripts of Linear A and Linear B, with the goal of engaging a young target audience.
The aim was to explore how visual communication can facilitate archaeological heritage experiences that explore a multi-layered narrative through co-creative and democratised strategies of engagement. This investigation raises not only the question of the overall relevance of creative re-contextualisation of archaeological heritage in engaging new audiences, but also to what extent this re-contextualisation can be allowed to undermine the ‘authenticity’ of the source material.
The project was led by two ADRC design researchers, with Dr. Georgia Flouda, an Archaeologist from the Museum in Heraklion who is specialized in the scripts acting as an external advisor. The project employed a number of students as researchers and there are plans to organize an ‘exhibition as research’ in order to test designs created so far in the coming months.
Melanie Levick-Parkin - Senior Lecturer Visual Communication, SHU
Jonathan Wood - Senior Lecturer Motion Design - SHU
Dr. Georgia Flouda - Senior Curator Archaeological Museum Heraklion