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Beyond 'the Phenomenological Walk': Perspectives on the Experience of Images
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
2013 (English)In: Norwegian Archaeological Review, ISSN 0029-3652, Vol. 46, no 2, 139-158 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scandinavian rock art has been of major interest for archaeological studies of a phenomenological character. By reflecting on the experience of rock art it has been argued that images choreograph movement and that this embodied interaction reflects both social order and world views. This perspective has been applied in studies of both open-air rock art and images in the confined spaces of caves. When critically evaluating these efforts, it seems clear that these phenomenological studies reduce rock art to a mere representation of the experience of place. Phenomenology also fails to challenge the assumption that the meaning of images is created primarily by the intentions of its creator. It is therefore suggested that, in order to discuss the experience of images as meaningful, we need to develop the phenomenological theory of embodiment into a material phenomenology. This material turn enables us to problematize the relationship between intentionality and the meaning of images, which could lead to a perspective where rock art affects both the experience of place and of landscape and the creation of new images. Consequently, an archaeology of images should treat rock art as an expression which creates and maintains practices and relations with places and landscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 46, no 2, 139-158 p.
Keyword [en]
Rock art, theory, phenomenology, materiality, archaeology of images
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98313DOI: 10.1080/00293652.2013.821160ISI: 000327841800001OAI: diva2:683447


Available from: 2014-01-03 Created: 2014-01-03 Last updated: 2014-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Ljunge, Magnus
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