In Artifact|Artifice: The Excavation illustrations from an archeological study in Illinois are enlarged and printed on felt, fabricated into new “artifacts” that share the visual likeness but not the intended use value or historical testimony of the objects they reference. Old technology—represented by renderings of arrowheads and other lithic objects used as tools (as well as the processes of felting and screen printing)--are confronted by new technology--animated GIFs on digital photo frames. The fabricated artifacts become representations of representations, cast into a realm without historicity. The intended utility of the iconic objects are forsaken in favor of the proliferation of myth.
Artifact/Artifice includes three animated GIFs played on Digital Photo Frames. Each GIF re-contextualizes appropriated archeological imagery; no longer restricted to their historic function, these artifacts are free to take on new roles as animate objects.
All images come from the book Woodland Period Occupations of the Napoleon Hollow Site in the Lower Illinois Valley, an archeological study that was discarded from the Chicago Public Library.
The Artifact / Artifice series explores how objects deemed "artifacts" are narrativized due to their supposed use value and interaction with humans. The series imagines what these objects might do if freed from those narratives and allowed to roam.
Other projects to evolve out of this source material include the installation Artifact / Artifice: The Repository and the video Artifact / Artifice: Exhumed (below).