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The Kivik Grave, Virtual Bodies in Ritual Procession – Towards New Artistic Interactive Experiences for Time Travellers
Taken from The Archaeology of Time Travel (Petersson & Holtorf (eds), Archaeopress, 2017) by Magali Ljungar-Chapelon.
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This paper explores how to link and combine artistic, archaeological and technological skills and research findings in order to explore new ways to engage audiences in a time travel experience. It departs from a case study related to the shaping process of an installation based on natural interaction and is inspired by a ritual procession depicted on a cist slab from Sweden’s most famous Bronze Age grave. In this interactive experiment, defined as virtual reality arts play, the user and museum visitor – in the shape of a wondrous rock art figure and by means of body gestures – was given the opportunity to become an interpreter of the procession. The questioning process of rock art imagery as part of an overall existential human wondering without definite answers is at the core of this multi-disciplinary project. It is apprehended from a hermeneutical perspective from the shaping phase of the virtual reality arts play to its meeting with the audience in various exhibition contexts. The main argument developed here is that interactive artistic representations and installations that physically and emotionally involve an audience might open new ways to engage the audience as actor-spectator in time and space and interpreter of the past. This kind of interdisciplinary process may also generate new cognitive maps at the crossover between archaeology, visual and performing arts and digital technology

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