Tactics against Antiquity

The Contemporary Ancient Messene


  • Marinos Koutsomichalis Cyprus University of Technology




ruins, creative turn, soundwalk, peripatetic, performance archaeology, punk archaeology


This essay outlines an empirical endeavour pivoting on the contemporaneity of the ruins of ancient Messene (Greece) by means of an eclectic method and in a situated artistic context. Drawing inspiration from the “peripatetic” tradition, the project concerns a technologically mediated soundwalk through the ruins which foregrounds Messene (a) as a place that is practised sociopolitically in the present as a way to generate cultural and historical content, and (b) as a vibrant habitat that hosts a wide range of entwined beings, things, energies and phenomena. A mixed method focused on technologies for mediation and the researcher’s body as the centre of the project’s inquiry is proposed, so as to produce an experience that is evocative of an emergent multitemporality specific to this place while also making accessible to the senses the plurality of objects and geophysical phenomena that manifest at the site. The project is contextualised with respect to experimental, creative, performative and “punk” archaeology, as well as to object-oriented and new materialist trends. It presents the resulting narrative, discusses how it relates to various sociopolitical/historical contexts and details the method and its constituent elements. The provided illustrations document the composed soundwalk and the creative tactics at play.


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Author Biography

Marinos Koutsomichalis, Cyprus University of Technology

Marinos Koutsomichalis is an artist, scholar and creative technologist. He is broadly interested in the materiality of self-generative systems, (post-)digital objecthood, sound, image, data, electronic circuitry, perception, selfhood, temporality, landscapes and the media/technologies we rely upon to mediate, probe, interact with or otherwise engage with the former. He has exhibited or performed his work extensively and internationally and has held research or teaching positions in Greece, Italy Norway, and the U.K. He is a Lecturer in Creative Multimedia at the Cyprus University of Technology (Limassol, Cyprus), where he co-directs the Media Arts and Design Research Lab.


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How to Cite

Koutsomichalis, M. (2022). Tactics against Antiquity: The Contemporary Ancient Messene. Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, 8(2), 274–298. https://doi.org/10.1558/jca.20009