Digital Escapism

How Objects Become Deprived of Matter

  • Monika Stobiecka University of Warsaw
Keywords: archaeological museum, cyber archaeology, digital exhibit, digital turn, virtuality

Abstract

In contemporary archaeology, we can identify a clash of two apparently antagonistic "paradigms": the "(re)turn to things" and the "digital turn". The latter has had great impact on archaeological museums, traditionally focused on material objects, and in this article I analyse this in terms of a phenomenon that I call "digital escapism". Digital escapism embraces ontological and epistemological questions that stem from the digital turn in archaeology - it might denote the dismissal of artefacts as subjects of scientific interest, or a shift in focus to digital methods as a means to creating an immersive past reality. It may also relate to big data in archaeology and the attempt to (re)connect this archaeology with science by way of informatics. My analysis of the exhibition presented in Rynek Underground, a museum in Krakow, provides a case study of digital escapism within museum space.

Author Biography

Monika Stobiecka, University of Warsaw

Monika Stobiecka is an archaeologist and historian of art and a PhD student at the Faculty of "Artes Liberales", University of Warsaw, Poland. She was a Lanckoroński Foundation Fellow in 2016 and is currently a Kościuszko Foundation Fellow. Address for correspondence: Faculty of "Artes Liberales", University of Warsaw, ul. Dobra 7200-312, Warsaw, Poland.

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Published
2019-01-26
How to Cite
Stobiecka, M. (2019). Digital Escapism. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 5(2), 194-212. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.34353
Section
Articles