The Heritage Jam is pleased to announce its 2014 winners!
Despite being the first of its kind in heritage visualisation, The Heritage Jam 2014 heralded an astounding turn out, receiving some truly visionary submissions from participants collaborating both remotely from all around the world, and in-person at the live event at the University of York. All the submissions, as well as their paradata, were of an excellent standard, and stand as a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, as well as the talent of the individuals who participated.
This year, our awards go to...
In person group Jam Day team first place award:
Stuart Eve / Kerrie Hoffman / Colleen Morgan / Alexis Pantos / Sam Kinchin-Smith
for Voices Recognition:
Voices Recognition is ambitious in scope and stunning in its execution. The team prototyped a website, an app, composed a series of dramatic monologues and produced over ten minutes of video in two short films all in the single day of the Jam. Each component complements the others, the whole working together to visualise and auralise the interwoven layers of lives in York Cemetery in an utterly compelling way. The group’s work is a testament to the power of bringing together individuals of many backgrounds and talents and setting their collective creativity loose in a single, intense day of collaboration. The heritage world should be beating a path to this group’s door
In person group Jam Day team honourable mention:
Rachel Asquith / Jen Bartlett / Sarah Austin / Joe Savage
Building on their shared experience visiting York Cemetery and imagining the stories behind the epitaphs and the monuments there, this group set themselves the task of visualising the subtleties of the language of commemoration. The group blended qualitative and quantitative methods of analysis, uniting two cemetery datasets to produce a series of map and word-based visualisations. By the end of the Jam day the team’s efforts coalesced into a single, gripping image condensing the entire vocabulary of commemoration into a ‘monument of monuments’. It is at once statistical analysis, visualisation, record and poetry. It rewards close attention and whispers with the voices of thousands seeking to preserve the memories of their loved ones over the centuries
Remote team Jam Day first place award:
Gavin MacGregor / Luba Nurse / Kate Rogers / Alastair Somerville
From the moment of digital introduction, the far-flung members of this team sparked. Ideas and images, visions and personal stories flowed. The team focused on the many-layered but interwoven nature of burial, discovery and re-interpretation. The concept of a book as an interactive work of sculpture, centred (literally) on the story of a single person and a single place quickly developed. It was a privilege to witness the powerful flow of ideas amongst the team members as each brought their own experiences and talents to bear upon the Jam theme. We hope that this fascinating idea eventually moves from concept to completion!
Remote independent entry first place award:
Cassie Herschel-Shorland’s entry is visualisation in the fullest sense of the word. It delights not only the eyes, but the senses of touch, sound (as it is opened and explored), curiosity, discovery and community. It is literally many-layered, visualising the process of burying and then re-discovering the past. Its direct, participatory nature imbues the original story with additional layers of meaning as each person engages in exploration individually and with a group.
Remote independent entry honourable mention:
A walk down Main Street in small-town Canada. The layers of the past, buried beneath the facades and tarmac of the present. A first-person moment in Sara’s own memories. This is a richly personal visualisation, blending archival, present-day and personal resources into a narrative spanning four generations, ‘coded’ into the landscape. Part podcast, part poetry, this reaches into the heart of what it means to live within ‘heritage’ and to lay down another layer for the future.
Remote team entry first place award:
Tara Copplestone and Luke Botham
Buried is astonishing in its many layers of meaning, rich creative assets, and technical ability. It references a broad range of academic, theoretical and popular culture woven into a narrative which is at once universal (at least for archaeologists) and personal (becoming more so as the player moves through its many branching baths, investing their own time and understanding). This is a visualisation but also a meditation, inviting return visits and many, many play-throughs (do we detect a hint of The Stanley Parable?). The art, the creative writing, the creative game design, and the full (dare we say, inspiring) paradata are all at the heart of the goals of the Jam.
Remote team entry honourable mention:
Habiba & Eloise Stancioff
Habiba and Eloise’s entry visualises the largely unrecorded heritage of St Kitts through a map-based interface. But it goes far beyond this. By relying on the people of St Kitts for data, the project has given shared ownership and stewardship to those whose heritage is being presented and recorded. The data visualised here are not simply dots on a map or a collection of photographs, but are imbued, from the moment of digital creation, with the personal meanings and stories of those who submitted that data. This is visualisation for good, making a positive impact on the inhabitants of St Kitts and enriching their experience of their historic environment.
Our personal commendations go to the rest of The Heritage Jam 2014 participants
The team sketched out not one, but a series of visualisations, focusing on the intertwined, long-term relationships within cemeteries between the living and the dead, permanence and change. They were driven by the above/below-ground tension of cemeteries, finding this tension between the fleeting impermanence of memorials with the long, slow process of dissolution in the unseen, subterranean depths. No single approach would suffice to express the potency of these relationships, so the team collaborated on a series of possible approaches, eventually inverting the visualisation/paradata relationship itself, producing a single, text document as the visualisation and a series of visualisations as its paradata.
The team member’s diverse backgrounds, training and talents resonated powerfully with the depth and variety of their response to their visit to York Cemetery. The ‘many-pointedness’ of this experience was expressed in the Jain idea of Anekantavada and found voice in the Four Quartets of TS Eliot. Together this found expression in a visualisation which explored the multi-vocality of the cemetery, finding its finest expression in snippets of Eliot combined with the resurrecting power of RTI.
Four thousand years of human stories, or portions of stories, stored within a single object are presented within the frames of this comic. Through the acts of burial, discovery and reburial the object and the narrative gather meaning – eventually reaching beyond the comic frame and into contemporary archaeological practice, quietly commenting on our own place within this object’s biography. Meticulously documented, Nela’s work delivers a dissertation’s worth of theory and research in fifteen engaging frames.
The rubic’s cube that is Shawn Graham’s PARKER will have you twisting and turning its facets as you peel back layer upon meta-layer of buried meaning. This is a highly reflexive visualisation of not simply the relationship between burial practices and archaeological practices, but of the act of archaeology (and of interpretation) itself. Tongue planted firmly in cheek? Perhaps. The algorithm knows all…
Hannah’s visualisation demonstrates the power of the act of simply drawing or modelling a neglected monument. Her work imbues this hitherto nameless monument with new interest while simultaneously serving as an act of recording and preservation. This is part of a larger project to uncover, record and highlight Hull’s rich but largely hidden heritage. Thoroughly documented, this will become part of an invaluable resource for the future as well.
Museum collections, while preserving artefacts, also have the potential to ‘end their stories’ by encasing them in glass, or in collections storage. An object’s ongoing value and continued relevance can be suspended in museum-amber. This is a particular danger for ‘natural history’ collections of the past, now forming an unwieldy part of many museums’ institutional heritage. David demonstrates how such collections can be ‘captured’ (in an act of almost ‘guerilla surveying’) and reinvigorated as assets for use in new, interactive media.
Cake! This surely must be the first cake to ever come complete with its own paradata documentation. It makes it even sweeter, and richer. The layers of the cake lend themselves well to visualising processes of deposition, stratigraphy, excavation and recording. This captivates its audience, engaging their senses of sight, smell, and, of course, taste. A superb take on the Jam theme and without doubt the sweetest entry of the event! Can we have another helping, please?
Ieldran aspires to be a digital ‘sum of all knowledge’ of early Anglo-Saxon cemeteries. While these sites have long been subjects of archaeological investigation, the majority remain inaccessible and isolated, particularly for researches without access to UK-based resources and collections. Meyers and Austin’s work is a gift to the research community, collating all published research on every cemetery site (under creative commons license, no-less). For the first time these important sites can be directly compared, cross-referenced and queried – by anyone. Their work opens up this ‘buried’ subject to unexpected and excited scholarship and creative work.
Sophisticated and nuanced research and interpretation are present in the best visualisations. ‘The Colleonard Farm Hoard’ comic communicates these in a single black and white panel. The traditionally dusty subject of prehistoric pottery typology is made interesting and engaging, revealing this particular hoard and the tantalizing hints of its deeply personal story. All this is communicated with wit and charm, like being told an interesting story by a slightly quirky but beloved mentor or family member.
At every level Ruth and her team’s microhistory of Building 3 at Çatalhöyük openly interweaves creative narrative, excavation data, metadata and paradata, presenting a visualisation and interpretation of the deeply personal story of one woman’s life almost 9000 years ago. But Ruth is clear that she is presenting but one interpretation and that others are possible. She invites us in to envisage the micro-history itself and to contribute to its continuing story. This is the kernel of a game she and her team are developing – one that also provides a beautiful vision of its own evolving paradata. We look forward to seeing this evocative visualisation grow.