Archaeologies of the Unseen – Dr. Martyn Woodward

Archaeologies of the Unseen:

Correspondence between Bodies, Artefacts and Environments


Dr Martyn Woodward


Important information:


Access documents on Moodle: Home>ADZ4999>Archaeologies of the Unseen


Sessions run until March 17th



3-5pm room 0.116 (management building)

2-3pm Group Tutorials, Heartspace


No Session in week 4 (18th Feb)

Academic writing skills workshops are available – check Moodle for dates


Formative assessment hand in – Thursday 5th May between 9-6

An academic text of around 2500 words (physical and digital)

PDP (reflective text) of 1000 words on your blog.


Each week there will be a key text for the session, posted on Moodle.


Things to bring each week:


Note/sketch book

Internet access

A copy of the weekly reading to reference


Send Martyn your blog address



Key terms from this lecture:


Ocularcentrism – The belief that the sight is the most true and important of the senses.

Embodied knowledge – The way that we experience the world through our body and senses.



A visual way of knowing the world

Pallasmaa says that sight is seen in western culture as the most reliable sense and it is the way that we describe or think about the world.


Vision is a dominant power in our construction of the world

signs, images, guide us in our physical world


Knowledge is analogous to vision

We know the world through vision.



Light regarded as the metaphor of truth

‘I see what you mean’

‘Shed light on the problem’


Our knowledge of the world is primarily visual, because our method of investigation is.

19th – 20th century, study of the world as dominated by visual means


Microscope, telescope, x ray, all show the invisible visible, thus helping us learn about it.


Pallasmaa says we have privileged sight and sound over other ways of knowing. 2005, p.16


Vision; to know the world

Touch, taste, smell etc; to feel the world


We always know things through the body, we are just not as aware of it


An Embodied knowledge

Knowledge comes from the experience of your body in the world, it is not separate from you


Our experience comes from the relationship between our body, brain, and world


We are aware of what we see, but not of our seeing


Embodied meaning making starts with the movement and experience of the body.

Reflects on the body’s way of knowing



Write a word in uppercase and lowercase and pay attention to how it ‘feels’

compare the differences




Theory of all words being onomatopoeias-

Words for air and ground in different languages – sound softer and more flowing for air, harder for ground

Continuous and cursive consonants


The sounds of the words describe things in the way that we experience them bodily.


Lines express the kind of movement that makes them. In this way when we look at lines done in different ways we can feel how the lines were created.


The feeling value of lines. Nancy Aitken.

How different lines are automatically associated with certain emotive words.


McCloud, S Understanding Comics

Describes things with visual images (sour, spiky, cold etc)


What is drawing?

Pallasmaa – Observation and expression, receiving and giving.

Outwards and inwards.

What is a drawing?

A drawing records not just the tree but the way that it is being experienced.


Book: Ways of seeing, John Berger

Comparing 2 images of an olive tree, being looked at by a camera, and Van Gogh

Neither are objectively true.


Van Gogh painting – as is experienced through an embodied subject.

Photograph – Experienced through a technological subject.


Things to think about;

Experience and knowledge is more that visual, it is embodied.

We can reflect upon this embodied knowledge through focusing on our bodily movement and feeling.



Write a reflection on your blog about the word writing excersize (200 words approx)


Author: lawrenceaaronmaker

Studying a BA Hons in Artist, Designer; Maker at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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