He goes on to describe mythoarchaeology in terms of the Scylla and Charybdis of New Agism and Scientism:
The New Age fascination with ‘alternative archaeology’ is first and foremost an escape from modernity. The New Age movement may be defined by its alienation from, and rejection of, dominant social ideologies (e.g., science, construed and caricatured as scientism) in favour of new ways of conceiving the world. These in turn are, paradoxically, rooted in an ancient, mythic past. It is in this sense archaeology of the future, an excavation intended to disclose and re/construct imagined futures from a ‘lost’ utopian science fiction.
Rather than dismissing this activity as superficial and irrelevant, as my esteemed interlocutors did during those chats over tea and chipolatas, I am interested in the innate confusion between experiment in search of law and interpretation in search of meaning; how ostension, through performativity and artistic interference mediates different realities, and how this affects human relationships with place.
A popular European example of this is the modern myth of ‘earth energies’, which relies on observable phenomena (the movement of dowsing instruments) to detect and validate the existence of these energies. I propose to progress this idea using archaeological surveying data to disclose and map trace evidence of subterranean patterns, implying the existence of vast shadowy sculptures that work more powerfully as art, I would argue, because they are invisible. An extension of mythogeography, this is mythoarchaeology… with data."
Read Irving's full piece here
Rob Irving's Mythoarchaeology
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