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PuebloPotteryDotCom: an article for Interpreting Ceramics

Dahn, J (2003) PuebloPotteryDotCom: an article for Interpreting Ceramics. ISSN 1471-146X

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I have been exploring connections between electronic media and ceramics since 1993, when I curated 'Hands That Do Dishes' (work by women ceramists in the UWA collection) and produced an interactive catalogue to accompany the exhibition. At that time, such application of electronic media was a relatively new development. The notion of the 'virtual object' is now well established, and my 'PuebloPotteryDotCom' essay investigates the relationship between the 'real' pottery of the Pueblo people in the American South West and its representation on the World Wide Web. Published in electronic format, it incorporates live links to a range of Native American sites. 'Authentic' Pueblo pottery entails conspicuous engagement with ancient hand building and pit or bonfiring techniques. At the same time, perhaps by virtue of their proximity to the Los Alamos centre for scientific research, the Pueblo peoples were amongst the earliest groups to exploit the Internet in order to market their work. After web surfing in order to establish the extent of representation of Pueblo pottery, I was in e-mail contact with a number of gallery owners who, it emerged, were responsible for producing many Pueblo pottery web sites. I also identified a politically radical, virtual Native American community one 'click' away from the pottery sites. During a research visit to New Mexico, I met the gallery owners in person. I was able to locate some of the same pots that I had previously viewed online and consider the relationship between the real and the virtual object. In constructing a theoretical context for this research I employed Donna Haraway's notion of 'situated knowledges'. This subsequently became the title of the 2002 annual Design History conference. I convened the Ceramics strand at the conference; however, my paper titled 'PuebloPotteryDotCom' was delivered as part of the new media strand.

Divisions: Bath School of Art and Design
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2014 19:09
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/260
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