In an effort to creatively engage with colleagues in the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology Theory group I developed a project for the 2020 virtual conference Festival CHAT. The project I offered was hosted through the platform of Instagram, and was called The Atlas of Everyday X.
The Atlas records the everyday archaeological ephemera of the COVID experience through a focus on social distancing floor-marks. Reflecting on how our encounters are shaped by new negotiations around space and bodily engagement, it also provided an opportunity for Festival participants to come together virtually and share our current experience. Part contemporary archaeology, part collaborative artwork, and part ongoing research into inscription practices, The Atlas invites us to reframe the signs of staying apart into a different way to connect. During the Festival and beyond I received images of ‘Covid glyphs’ from participants in Australia, Europe, USA, and the UK.
The project has continued beyond the duration of Festival CHAT 2020 and participants are invited to contribute their photographs of these notations and gestures via Direct Messenger to a dedicated Instagram account: @atlas_everydayx