Author Archive | Graeme Were

Traumwerk Website

Victor Buchli, Reader in Material Culture, University College London
The Traumwerk website is a brilliant project started by Mike Shanks and his students at Stanford University that experiments with the boundaries of archaeological work and interpretation and wider questions in material culture. In particular there a number of projects hosted on the site that are of interest to students of material culture in general: These are the archaeology of the contemporary past project, the china garbology initiative with Bill Rathje, and the three rooms project by Mike Shanks. In addition there are numerous experimental projects based on soundscapes and virtual environments which involve archaeoloigsts, artists and other scholars.
The cultures of contact and the Mercedes Benz Daimler initiative are also well worth exploring especially the Mercedes project which brings together, material culture studies, anthropology, archaeology and design together.…

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Where Stuff Comes From

Review: Harvey Molotch (2003), Where stuff comes from – how toasters, toilets, cars, computers and many other things come to be as they are. London: Taylor and Francis
Elizabeth Shove and Matt Waton teach at the Department of Sociology, University of Lancaster
‘Where Stuff Comes From’ does an excellent job of opening up debate about product design and of asking new questions about the hardware with which we live our lives. What is it that gives shape and form to the ‘stuff’ that surrounds us? In dipping into the world of design, Harvey Molotch deals with questions of fun, functionality and fashion, also taking note of the structuring of supply chains and the organisation of production. In focusing on design in this way, his book sits squarely between typically generic arguments about consumers’ pursuit of novelty and more technologically oriented theories of innovation.…

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Review: Prelude to Totems to Turquoise – Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest

Nicky Levell, PhD student, UCL Anthropology
On Saturday 30 2004, the Totems to Turquoise exhibition debuted at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The opening ceremony, from 12.00 – 5.00 pm in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, began with a special welcome by representatives of New York’s local Native American community, including Sidney Hill, the spiritual representative of the Iroquois Confederacy. Ceremonial leaders of the Haida and Navajo nations then gave their blessings for the exhibit and the afternoon concluded with dance performances by communities from the northwest and southwest.
Having spent the past two years touring the States (New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles), the exhibition is being brought to the Pacific Northwest. As a prelude to the opening of the exhibit, the Vancouver Museum and its sponsor, the Bill Reid Foundation, organized a ceremonial announcement of the exhibition that took place in Vanier Park on Wednesday August 23, 2006.…

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