Dr. Judith van der Elst: “Lost Air”
Wednesday 12. October 2016 / at 12:00–13:00
Miestentie 3, 4th floor, room 429 (Otaniemi)
Welcome to the open visiting lecture in the Department of Media!
“Over the last years I have spent considerable time in remote rural settings, where comfort taken for granted in urban contexts, such as drinking water from the tap and access to goods and services in general, is not always available. But after a while your values begin to change: the sounds of nature’s nightlife, the spectacle of dancing fireflies, the enveloping odor of the blooming acacia’s, all become part of a new order of essential components of living. This is embodied knowledge.
I have come to believe that the sensory richness of these places still provides top quality conditions for human life. As an archaeologist I am interested in how we can identify and understand our atmospheric heritage, conditions that may have become very rare in our industrialized world. However, standard methods in heritage management are unsuitable for the protection of such circulatory patterns and processes. In this lecture I advocate a shift in focus from design to minimize pollution to design for increasing ‘top quality’ sensory conditions to address a crucial problem in natural and cultural heritage.“
Judith van der Elst holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology (archaeology) from the University of New Mexico (USA) with a specialization in Geographical Information Sciences. She applies spatial and emerging technologies in the social sciences and humanities (E-Culture). Her interest is in diversity in spatial thinking and spatial reasoning and developing methodologies for understanding this diversity through cross-modal languages and novel pedagogies. She has collaborated on international heritage projects and conducted participatory projects working with traditional communities, crossing art, science, and technology. She also worked in heritage management, among others at the National Park Service, Chaco Culture, National Historical Park USA. Currently, she is an independent researcher and creative entrepreneur based in the Netherlands.