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Abstract: My research on the Vancouver 2010 Winter and London 2012 Summer Olympic Games investigates screen media practices that enact the histories, heritage and cultures of the Olympic hosts. How do Olympic cities project their pasts into the future via ubiquitous screen technologies? The relationship between the modern day Olympic Games and the moving image is under-explored and yet is central to understanding the multiscalar and often contradictory enactments of local specificities and global flows that the Games manifest. Beyond representations of heritage, however, how do these media themselves begin to enter the archaeological record? In this seminar, I will explore how an archaeological approach to assemblages of screens that present heritage narratives might contribute insights into Olympic material-discursive practices. How do these mega-events organise spatial relations through temporary assemblages of screens and other bodies? How do narratives, aesthetics and the performative materialities of screen technologies interrelate? I suggest that an archaeological account of the screens that perform the Olympic event – an archaeology on as well as of screen – opens up critical spaces that complement and extend important human-centred debates about what happens when the Olympics come to town.

Link to presentation slides: 28Feb2013_sm

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