March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Demonstrations: Description

A Question of Interactivity: Projects of the Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites, University of Cincinnati

Elizabeth Bartley, University of Cincinnati, USA
John Hancock, University of Cincinnati, USA

CERHAS has, for many years, been questioning the implicit assumptions behind "interactivity" — a word whose current connotation is tied to a specific type of activity when browsing the Web. This 'habit' of engagement reproduces a limited theoretical view of how electronic media settings can communicate. These limitations are especially severe when another "interactivity" is the content to be delivered; namely, the interactivity of past people with their lifeworld.

This demonstration(and our accompanying paper) explores how we have formulated an understanding of what it means to be humans interacting with a world (both past and present) and how this understanding informs our media development. We believe the life-world is an experientially-lived, "interactive" unity. Spaces, places and things are embedded in a meaningful whole, in which a community of people found themselves sharing in struggles, aspirations, interpretations, and meanings. We conceived our on-screen imagery and multi-voiced perspectives to evoke, as much as an artificial medium can, such an immersive, integrated, experiential world. We hope our methods can let these ancient, alien places challenge and confront us with new ways of seeing our own world, and new questions and insights about what it means to live and die as humans.

Demonstration: Demonstrations [Close-Up]

Keywords: interactivity, phenomenology, agency, hermeneutics, history, architecture, archaeology