>Book Chapter: Dirty RTI by Ian Dawson in Images in the Making: Art, Process, Archaeology, edited by Ing-Marie Back Danielsson and Andrew Meirion Jones

>Ian Dawson


Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5261-4284-9
Pages: 248
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Published Date: August 2020




This book offers an analysis of archaeological imagery based on new materialist approaches. Reassessing the representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis, it argues for the importance of ontology, redefining images as material processes or events that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: 'Emergent images', which focuses on practices of making; 'Images as process', which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and 'Unfolding images', which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. Featuring contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists, it highlights the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, while demonstrating that scholars need to recognise their dynamic and changeable character.

Dawson's chapter: Dirty RTI, is situated in the Emergent Images Section and includes a commentary by Tim Ingold. 



In Dirty RTI Dawson describes his experimentation with RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging),  a synthetic imaging process often used by archaeologists to reveal the hidden stratigraphy within artifacts. Dawson explores this process and how, as part of a contemporary art practice, it has been manipulated, bent and reconfigured. The process of creating these ‘dirty’ RTI’s is discussed alongside the exploration of earlier vision technologies such as metric photography.