EDUCATION \ SITE PRESENTATION \ 23t
1: G. Buccellati, July 2009


A chapter of the digital monograph: Site Presentation

The "site as a book": the concept

Integration of site and signage
Localization as semiotics
Implementation

Integration of site and signage

     In an attempt to go beyond the notion of signs as ad hoc pointers, I have sought to develop a cohesive framework within which the individual signs fit. The intended result is to induce the visitor to "read" the site. At its most basic, this means that the visitor walks along obtaining information and developing insights in a progressive manner, as one would, precisely, when reading a book. Accordingly, there has to be a story line (or multiple and intersecting story lines) that unfolds in close relationship to the monuments on view, to the underlying stratigraphic analysis, to the objects in their context. It is in this sense that the signs are more than occasional pointers. At the same time, the presentation has to be in a style that allows for multiple levels of interest, from an agile overview of the entire "narrative" to the opportunity for an in-depth confrontation with special points of interest.
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Localization as semiotics

     As I have argued elsewhere, this is a form of "localization," i.e., a translation that aims at mediating the values of the original by placing them in their local cultural context. The semiotic dimension lies in the effort at interpreting, in a controlled way, what those values are through an analysis of the data as pointers to the value system itself. Thus the monuments speak to us not only through their immediate aesthetic appeal, and not just through the suggestions evoked by their present state as ruins, but also and especially through the integrity of their original conditions (as far as we can identify it) and through our understanding of their original function (as far as we can provide a sustainable argument for it).
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Implementation

     To achieve this, I have gone through a number of trials and errors in the field, developing, in the process, both an overall personal view of the goals to be achieved, and a set of solutions to practical problems. Altogether, I have aimed for the greatest simplicity of technical means, and for maximum reliance on local resources. These preconditions are indispensable if one wants to maintain the entire signage system up to par with the progress of the excavations and of the subsequent research.
     In this section I will address both the content of the signage seen as narrative, and the technical aspects of the manufacturing of the various types of signs seen as objects.
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