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Scandinavian Late Iron Age gold foil figures through the lens of intra-action
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson

This chapter discusses minuscule gold foil figures from the Scandinavian Late Iron Age and demonstrates how the figures are continuously in the making, rather than being still representations of gods. In the past, the figures’ affectual qualities, such as their small size, their shininess and their human-like and foldable character, invited play and experimentation, stressing the figures’ ongoing-ness. Equally, their capacities to be simultaneously image, object and component allowed them to be reconfigured into new arrangements, stressing their fractal, emerging and open-ended character. By contrast, in the present, they become ‘victims’ of representationalist thought, through the framing and boundary making practices set up by for instance museums, keeping the figures in complete motionlessness. Instead, it is only through the help of different apparatuses (digital photography, copying etc.), that they become generative and are in the making in the present, stressing that we today to a greater extent deal with gold foil figures’ hauntology, rather than their ontology.

in Images in the making
Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

Abstract only
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson and Andrew Meirion Jones

In the book’s introductory chapter long-held assumptions concerning archaeological art and images are addressed and challenged, particularly representationalism, and new ways to approach and understand them are offered. Specifically, it is argued that art and images continuously emerge in processes of making and engagement, both in the past and in the present. Hence, art and images are always in motion, multiple and unfolding, and the Introduction thus stresses the importance of considering the ontology of images. The chapter introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. It is also demonstrated that images, as ongoing events, encompass and realise affects, and the significance of experimental play in processes of making is equally underlined.

in Images in the making