I am back at my office today and I have begun to sort out the ideas for my project on water as an archaeological object/material (my cave and climate project is resting for six months). I have to begin with the ontological part of the research first since I need to decide how I will view water within this project. Will it be as a material, an object, a substance, a thing, a process, etc.? During the past weeks, when I have not been building pyramids in the Malaysian and Balinesian sands with my son, I have read Jane Bennett’s book “Vibrant Matter” which proposes a perspective reminiscent of my former idea of polyagents (which was affected by Bergsonian vitalism). I have also read DeLanda’s most recent book which gives me some new ideas of how to frame water in my project. DeLanda’s book is interesting since he applies his assemblage perspective on archaeological data on several occasions (but quite different from how I use it, but more on that in a future post). How I will be able to combine this with Harman’s object-oriented perspective is not clear at the moment but perhaps things become clearer after Bryant has published his book on the democracy of object. That will probably keep me busy this fall.
Posted by: Johan Normark | August 8, 2011