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Week 8 //// Atelier Session 2

Atelier Session 2: Reports from the field 


Pre-session preparation

In advance of our second session, you should::

  • Identify a field site and feral entity for your field report;
  • Consider what methods you will use to create your field report;
  • Read the Feral Atlas Tipper essay for Dump

You should also bring to this session the field notes / documentation you made during your search for feral things in Edinburgh in the first week of the Atelier.

In-class activities:

Our second session is in two parts, both focused on how we do things in the field

Guest presentation: Dr Jonathan Gardner

To start, we will welcome Dr Jonathan Gardner to the course. Dr Gardner is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at ECA and is currently undertaking a three year research project studying the creation and use of waste-modified landscapes.

For our Atelier, Dr Gardner will give a presentation on art and archaeology crossovers and their proximity to anthropological ways of working and thinking through artJonathan will discuss methods and practices of contemporary archaeology and their links to art. He will then discuss how, as archaeologists of the contemporary world (anyone can be one!), we can investigate waste materials and landscapes, drawing in part from the project Reimagining Waste Landscapes. This research particularly links to the Dump section of the Atlas.

Presentation slides: Contemporary Archaeology and Art – Methods and practice

Engaging with art/archaeology and waste crossovers you may also like to check out This is the final output of a collaboration between art and archaeology made by students on Jeff Benjamin’s  ‘Principles of Art in Archaeological Practice’ course at Columbia University, New York. You can explore the site to find examples of where waste materials are used by art and archaeology and points of intersection with visual culture.

Group activity: Field Report planning and troubleshooting

Following Dr Gardner’s presentation and Q&A, we’ll workshop plans for your field reports, working in your groups to share your ideas and collectively troubleshoot any issues you are encountering. 

Field research resources:

DigiMap (

Here you can browse various editions of contemporary and historic maps across the UK. You can make annotations and print these out. If you know how to use GIS software you can also download tiles to use in making your own maps.

How to use: visit the site, login with university username and password and then register for free for the services that interest you – mainly historic and ordnance survey, geology may also be useful)

National Library of Scotland Maps (

This has a different range of maps from Digimap including much older plans of Edinburgh. Try explorer the different areas and ways of viewing the maps – again these can be annotated and downloaded. The library also has other excellent digital resources worth exploring.

Britain From Above  (

Mainly pre WW2 aerial photos – can browse by map.

National Collection of Aerial Photography (

Mainly post-ww2 aerial photos.

Canmore (

Historic Environment Scotland listed heritage sites/historic buildings database

Gale primary Sources/ NewsVault (via University library:

Historic newspapers and other digital resources. Login with University of Edinburgh username and password.

Further resources:

Gill, S. and Taussig, M. (2017) Becoming Palm. Berlin: Sternberg Press.

Taussig, M (2011), I Swear I Saw This: Drawings in fieldwork notebooks, namely my own. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 


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