Olympic City Screens

Angela Piccini

in The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World

Published in print October 2013 | ISBN: 9780199602001
Published online December 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191755859 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Olympic City Screens

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  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology


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Archaeology and lens-based media have been central to the performance of the Olympic Games since Pierre de Courbertin’s Athens. Film, video, and photography link contemporary sporting bodies and cities with archaeology to produce highly affective nationalist narratives and aesthetics. Yet, how might archaeological investigation of the Games themselves intervene to complicate such a neat tale of ideology and spectacle? This chapter investigates the spaces, structures, and uses of Vancouver’s Olympic screens in an attempt to produce an archaeology of the global Olympic brand as ephemeral (g)local event. If the Olympics constitute collective ritual and if that ritual centres on the performance of place, then identifying and analysing the structures of screen media as key monuments producing that performance may contribute to a broader understanding of the material practices of such rituals and their role in enacting cultural change.

Keywords: Olympics; screen media; urban screens; city; public art; mega event

Article.  7559 words. 

Subjects: Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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