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The Institute of Paleoanthrozoological Archeology, Elm Fork Division

The Institute of Paleoanthrozoological Archeology Elm Fork Division, 2023 

86” x 54” x 48” 

Multimedia Installation including wooden desk, chair, microscope, slides, cassette player, screen prints, audio, lighting, and curation of artifacts on loan from the Elm Fork Natural Heritage Museum, Benjamin B. Harris Herbarium, Texas State Documents Collection, and the UNT Institute of Applied Science Digital Special Collections.  

As viewers approach the institute, they notice an abandoned desk that seems to belong to a bygone era. The institute's sole employee, Dr. Sarah Posey, an archaeologist, has unknowingly been lost underground since 1985, just one year before her groundbreaking work on the Johnson and Jones Farmstead was set to begin. 

In the coinciding performance (Elm Fork Excavation), the archaeologist returns to her post and resume the excavation, only to discover that the objects in the ground have modernized as the soil's health deteriorated. 

Viewers, who possess more knowledge of the current state of their local environments, become the bearers of knowledge. Skewing the culturally ingrained power dynamics found in museums and historical narratives. Viewers are encouraged to reflect on their own relationship with knowledge, questioning how humans interact with the environment and reimagining the stagnant ways we view it. 

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