There are many ways of understanding and documenting the remains of past material presence in contemporary society. One is archaeology.
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There are many ways of understanding and documenting the remains of past material presence in contemporary society.
One is archaeology. We understand and document remains through contextual excavations.
Another is anthropology, accomplished by our participation-observation practices when we immerse ourselves in other cultures.
Still another is performance studies.The past is revealed through a “theatrical ghosting” and fictive memory practices.
In a “ghost excavation”, I use all three disciplinary approaches to unearth interactive past presence.
The recovery process of this “dead presence” is achieved through a “P.O.P.” (Participate-Observe-Perform) methodology, organized around “immediate field reveals”, NOT post-excavation analysis.
The result is a unique vision of contemporary reality.
This reality is more than a “phantom” universe. It involves an unfolding of time, a symmetrical space of “horizontal stratigraphy”, and a past that is not dead!
These interactive material remains are NOT historical artifacts (something past). They are continuing memory practices enacted by “dead” individuals (someone present).
Specific case examples (A Civil War battlefield; an historic mansion; a “classic” haunting…) illustrate this process of recovery as it is unearthed in the field.
– John G. Sabol, Jr.