Grounded Speculation: Feeling into Digital Ruins

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In heritage and archaeology 3D models and visualisations are often characterised as capturing reality—as recording, or even preserving, heritage values. This discussion of a practice-led research project aims to be particularly attentive to the conditions that framed an engagement with/in dual field sites—one a ruined village in the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus and the other in the digital field. This was an exercise in making ourselves vulnerable to digital technologies and visualisations—exploring what we do to them and what they do to us. What emerged is that, together with the software, we co-created a ‘thick assemblage’, using the software as a ‘way to follow things, feelings, sensations’—a proposition that heritage and museum studies can perhaps use to complicate practices that are seen as ostensibly ‘objective’ recordings of reality, as opposed to unique encounters between emplaced and embodied agents.


Speaker Biography

Tracy Ireland is Professor of Cultural Heritage in the Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra, Director of the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, and President of Australia ICOMOS. Since 2009, Tracy has led research and teaching across UC's GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums), heritage, conservation and cultural leadership related courses, including the development on the Master of Arts in Creative and Cultural Futures. Tracy's career has also included working for the New South Wales Department of Planning and Heritage Council as the State Archaeologist and heading up the Canberra Office of GML Heritage. She undertook a PhD at the University of Sydney, awarded in 2002, and has published extensively on historical archaeology, digital heritage, heritage management and conservation and their entanglement with nationalism and colonialism. Tracy has prepared heritage assessments and management plans for some of Australia's most significant places, including the Old Great North Road World Heritage site, the Australian War Memorial, Old Parliament House and the Blacktown Native Institution.

Tracy is known internationally for her research on heritage practice, ethics, and the social values of heritage and she has published on the archaeology and heritage of colonialism in Australia, New Zealand, Quebec, North Eastern USA, and in Cyprus, as a member of the Troodos Archaeological and Environmental Survey Project. Her recent papers and books include 'Situating (in)significance' (with Steve Brown and John Schofield), Connecting the Nation: A thematic history of civil aviation (with Paul Aston, Mitchell Whitelaw and Alison Wain), The ethics of cultural heritage (with John Schofield), and Object Lessons: Archaeology and heritage in Australia (with Jane Lydon).


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Event Information

This is a webinar, which means that attendees’ microphones and cameras will be off. There will be opportunities for participants to turn their microphone on and ask questions during the discussion. This event will have live captions. Please inform us of any access requirements by emailing The event will be recorded and uploaded onto the CDCS website afterwards for public viewing. Further details about how CDCS uses your information obtained from booking onto our events can be found at in our Events Privacy Statement.

Event recording


First broadcast on 1 April 2022.

This recording is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.

To watch in full screen mode via Media Hopper, click here.

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