August 2015: Nick Stone, designer, photographer, digital artist

I’ve thought a bit about what I’m going to do, and come to no conclusions at all so far apart from one and that’s that’ll whatever I do will involve sharing whatever it is on social media, so I have a procedural endpoint, I just need to come up with a beginning and a middle and then do it.

There are a few things I’ve already been thinking about for a reasonably long period of time, others are just things that have occurred to me. I suspect whatever I end up working on will depend on what I find is attracting me at the time my month pops up and I have to bite the bullet and actually get on with it.

At the moment I’ve found myself quite frequently plotting stuff on maps for, you know, ‘fun’ who doesn’t like a good map after all. A recent trip to Ieper in Belgium resulted in an accidental map of about a third of the 140 cemeteries in the salient, it started to diversify into more interesting stuff like tunnel entry points, craters etc and then I lost track. I’ll finish eventually and make it public. I’ve also got another longer form one again based on public access which is to do with the blitz, but I don’t think that one can wait as I need to get it done by April for sanity reasons, sticking colour coded markers on a map for days on end is a bit soul destroying, and there thousands of the bastards; it’s complex and has lots of points, plus it has two data sets neither of which seem entirely accurate based on received stories, so I think I’ll suffer that one alone until it’s finished. Another possibility was a study into the funerary landscape which stretches from Roughton near Cromer as far south as Marsham near Aylsham, which I’ve already roughly mapped. It’s widespread, almost entirely ploughed out and not heavily researched. But I’m a bit worried that I’m not really sure what I’d be studying and whether it was in fact just an excuse to ruin my credit card by buying a drone and crashing it in a field.

I also think I’ve found access to some medieval tunnels and undercrofts that haven’t been surveyed,and were last entered in the 1950s as far as I am aware, but I’m struggling with how I make this into a public archaeology project given the access is limited, safety is questionable and they may not be what I think they are.

Also possibilities of landscape surveys with a small group of photographers exploring Deserted Medieval Villages in Norfolk with the possibility, if we can obtain access to some of the really nice examples of maybe mounting a small exhibition, rather than the ‘where is it exactly?’ Type DMVs that proliferate in Norfolk. We have about 130 of them, but it might be nice to bust open the myth that Every DMV looks like Godwick and perhaps persuade people that the less obvious features that remain; the ones that aren’t follys or hollow ways; can be interesting too if you look hard enough. This currently one of the more likely ideas.

The other maybe possibles are relating to the Great War, one possibility is to try and organise a really simple street by street ‘flash memorial’ in the form of a non permanent display that details the history of people in individual streets in Norwich who were lost or indeed were involved at all. Maybe in the form of simple lamp post mounted plaques. There is a vague hope that using digital means an analogue viral could occur. This one also appealed the the guerrilla historian in me as a hit and run night time unofficial project. But I guess I’ve blown the secrecy element of it.

The other is an idea that I had two years ago but haven’t pursued yet. Originally titled ‘One hundred for one hundred’ the idea was to research and link back 100 individuals to their ancestors who were involved in the Great War, be they survivors or otherwise, conches, different nationalities, men women and children, then photograph them ideally with a photo of their Great-Aunt, granddad or whatever. I realised one I worked it out that including the fails the hit rate was likely to kill me quite slowly by 2018. It’s too long to use for this, but could be a micro project for a month.

So, a big pile of possible stuff, and I might think of something else that may actually work…

You can see examples of my current work here:  http://www.invisibleworks.co.uk/

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4 thoughts on “August 2015: Nick Stone, designer, photographer, digital artist

  1. Pingback: Around the Archaeology Blogosphere Digest #1 | Doug's Archaeology

  2. Hi Nick,

    I like the Flash Memorials idea too. I remember my grandfather (born 1909 and youngest of 10) talking about how his parents flew two Union Jack flags and one black flag at their house in Stoke-on-Trent at the end of WWI. Two sons came home, one was lost near Ypres. We later found his name on the Menin Gate in the 1990s – his official memorial. The family did not know it was there.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  3. Nick,

    That’s a lot of ideas, which is probably the way to go for a project that’s a year away! Just wanted to add a couple of things.

    Some of the results of Chandrachoodan Gopalkrishnan’s photo-walks might be of interest (links below). I like the idea of you creating public engagement with archaeology through encouraging people to take their own photos of it with the understanding of what they’re photographing that goes alongside that. That could create a real lasting engagement with archaeology in people, effectively giving them a whole new set of things to take photos of for the rest of their lives.

    http://cc-portfolio.blogspot.co.uk/

    Chennai Photowalk first steps

    https://chennaiphotowalk.wordpress.com/

    I also find the idea of a digital project resulting in analogue viral weirdly exciting.

    JD

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