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Terqa Audio-Visuals

Section Editor: Ann Tsueng


Giorgio Buccellati – January 2010

SHORTCUTS

AV MODULES
original packaging
DS1
   transcript
   slides
   booklet (PDF)
   full module (MPG)
DS2
   transcript
   slides
   booklet (PDF)
   full module (MPG)
DS3
   transcript
   slides
   booklet (PDF)
   full module (MPG)

FILMS
"Banks"
"Six Seasons"
Introduction
Audio-visual modules – Documentary Series
Distribution
Films
Editorial

Introduction

     Considerable attention was paid, during our tenure at Terqa, to alternative presentations of our finds, both in a documentary mode and for broader public enjoyment. This resulted in five different products (three "modules" and two films), which can now be included in this website.
     The effort entailed was not inconsiderable, and, even though ultimately unsuccessful, I feel that it was significant in two respects.
     First, it seems to me (in looking retrospectively at them), that there was considerable substance in each of the presentations. In fact, it is fair to say that both the modules and the films retain their original documentary value, so that this online "publication" makes it possibe to consider them, for the first time, really and properly "published." The technologies available at the time (slide, audio tapes, 16 mm film) were inadequate for any type of wide distribution, and remained therefore essentially destined to such an extremely limited audience.
     Second, their aim (in particular with regard to the Audio-Visual Modules) may be seen as an anticipation of what has become second nature today under the name of "multi-media presentations," and in this respect the documentation that we give here may be seen as a contribution to the history of archaeology and of the technologies that have been put to its use over the years.
     The present website offers, as it were, a closure to this effort, which went otherwise, as might well be expected, wholly unnoticed. The importance of safeguarding previous "incarnations" of results that have in the meantime become second nature is widely recognized – the most significant endeavor in this regard being the Packard Campus of the Library of Congress. I hope that in the present electronic format these products may still be of interest, and may be safeguarded through future "migrations" that would hopefully be easier than it has been, now, the transfer from analog to digital.
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Audio-Visual Modules – Documentary Series

     The documentary intent was underscored by the subtitle (Documentary Series). Parallel to this, another series was envisaged, more discursive and educational in scope. Slide modules along this line were planned, and partly developed (also for other sites), but never completed. The two films that were produced were in this vein, but were never distributed.
     The underlying goal was very much that of a multi-media presentation, in that images, spoken text, music and written text went hand in hand to help in the communication of our results. I called these "Audio-visual modules" to describe both the techniques employed and the complementarity (as "modules") in relationship to the overall publication program.
     Three such modules were produced, which are given here in their entirety.
AVM
DS
1
1977 Giorgio Buccellati
Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati
The Joint American Expedition to Terqa.
The Second Season, 1976

AVM
DS
2
1978 Giorgio Buccellati,
Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati
William R. Shelby
Terqa '77.
The Joint American Expedition to Terqa.
The Third Season: Fall 1977

AVM
DS
3
1979 Giorgio Buccellati
Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati
Terqa 1978.
The Joint Expedition to Terqa.
The Fourth Season, 1978


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Distribution

     An important consideration pertained to the manner in which such audio-visual aids could be distributed, in order for them to become an active part of the documentary process. In other words: how could these modules be used in conjunction with the printed material so as to provide as fuller picture of the site as seen through the excavations? The concrete aspect of packaging loomed large in this regard.
     I produced two alternative packaging designs, which were advertised as regular publications and, as such, available for sale. However, the cost was considerable (over $100 per package), and the viewing opportunities rather cumbersome. In the first place, the optimal equipment was not readily available: what was needed for best results was a tape recorder with the capability of advancing slides in response to inaudible signals that had been recorded along with the audio track (audio tapes with audible signals for hand advancement were also produced). Even when available, operating projector and tape deck was not the easiest task.
     It was largely for this reason that I discontinued the production of the Audio-visual Modules after the fourth season. But the experiment was well worth it because conceptually it showed the usefulness of this additional type of communication, and when a few years later the new digital technology came along, the necessary sensitivity was there. As one looks today at the graphics included as slides, they appear obviously as rather simple and even crude. But the underlying intellectual effort is indeed consonant with the goals of what the digital environment has now made possible.
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Films


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Editorial

     A great effort went into making these materials available online, and if it has all come to a successful issue we owe it to the indispensable collaboration of Fanxi Xu and Ann Tsueng.
     Ann Tsueng was the chief editorial coordinator for the project. She single handedly carried out the actual work of integrating all the pieces, assembling the digital files that synchronize slides and audio track, and producing the transcripts of the three original sound tracks (they were no longer available as such).
     Fanxi Xu took care of the conversion to digital format of the audio portions and gave his invaluable advice about the best way to integrate audio and visual segments.

following to Authorship? + mKB, Shelby
     The original development of the Audio-visual Modules (in the late seventies) was possible because of the great sense of initiative of Robert Clayton, then a graduate student in the Department of History at UCLA.
Joan Meighan
Rick Hauser, AICF
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