Out of the constant zoom meetings, and rush to recreate everything we expect from the physical world on to the digital world, new barriers and problems emerged. An online conference or event can’t be the same as one hosted in a room, with a living, breathing audience. The fatigue of constant online meetings, quizzes and those “phrases” about being muted has reached the point where we need new innovation in this space. Instead of shoehorning in the traditional paradigm we need to leverage new technologies in order to make online spaces a different experience and possibly a better one.
In this vein of upending the norms, why only explore the expected world of archaeology, why focus on the finds but not the finders, the material archaeology but not the concept of archaeology itself? In such a liminal space as the interconnected lockdowns and restrictions, is it not the right place to dissect and discuss aspects of how we relate to each other as practitioners and as the public to which we are presenting our work to?
It is very likely that the future of archaeology will look as different to what we currently do, as the work done 50 years ago does to today. We need to be ready to make changes that fundamentally go against how we feel.
So the Unarchaeology panel needs to be a different experience to the standard in person experience. Alongside capturing the discussion between panelists, we need to create an open space for our audience to be able to express themselves.