Setting Context

I’m working on the context of my work as part of the doctorate this week. I was reminded of my time as an archaeologist, where i was taught that everything is about context.

There is more to archaeology than simply digging things up: in fact, often the surrounding soil or sand is of more interest than the artefact itself, because as objects cannot tell their own story, we have to construct it from context.

This context may be relational – the ‘thing’ on top is more recent than the ‘thing’ underneath (on the assumption that ‘things’ are dropped ‘on top’ of each other, not ‘under’ the other) – but also based on similarity or difference (this ‘thing’ looks kinda like that ‘thing’, and hence we may assume they are related. Context may even be assumed by absence, where this ‘thing’ looks nothing like that ‘thing’ and hence we can assume their context is entirely different or parallel in nature.

The context of an archaeological object is hence fixed both in three dimensional space, and also within a broader and linear progression of time.

It is essentially a description in terms of ‘where’, with or next to ‘what’, and hence ‘when’.

Context is important in my work: the context of Social Leadership, the context of #WorkingOutLoud, the context of the Social Age.

In that context, of the Social Age, some things are being layered, becoming complicated, or simply buried. Some things are recognisable, but different, and some things are simply abstracted, no longer relevant or of value. Knowing which is important.

Context is everything.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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