Encounters and content sharing in an urban village: reading texts through an archaeological lens
Garcia, N and Foth, M and Hearn, G, Encounters and content sharing in an urban village: reading texts through an archaeological lens, Shared Encounters: Content Sharing as Social Glue in Public Places, Springer, KS Willis, G Roussos, M Struppek and K Chorianopolos (ed), Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 209-226. ISBN 978-1-84882-727-1 (2009) [Research Book Chapter]
Archaeology provides a framework of analysis and interpretation that is useful for disentangling the textual layers of a contemporary lived-in urban space. The producers and readers of texts may include those who planned and developed the site and those who now live, visit and work there. Some of the social encounters and content sharing between these people may be artificially produced or manufactured in the hope that certain social situations will occur. Others may be serendipitous. With archaeology’s original focus on places that are no longer inhabited it is often only the remaining artefacts and features of the built environment that form the basis for interpreting the social relationships of past people. Our analysis however, is framed within a contemporary notion of archaeological artefacts in an urban setting. Unlike an excavation, where the past is revealed through digging into the landscape, the application of landscape archaeology within a present day urban context is necessarily more experiential, visual and based on recording and analysing the physical traces of social encounters and relationships between residents and visitors. These physical traces are present within the creative content, and the built and natural elements of the environment. This chapter explores notions of social encounters and content sharing in an urban village by analysing three different types of texts: the design of the built environment; content produced by residents through a geospatial web application; and, print and online media produced in digital storytelling workshops.