Grooving matter(s): ‘Taking measure’ through touch
Ephemera , Volume 20 - Issue 3 p. 47- 66
This paper investigates the ability of touching practices to measure. Thinking with touch highlights not only its ability to perceive, but also to affect and intervene in material contexts. Drawing on extracts from the author’s research into archaeological excavation labour, this paper wonders how touch could do measurement in the sciences otherwise. Addressing measurement in terms of active practices of ‘measuring’ or ‘taking measure’ emphasises the lived time of scientists, as well as their bodily ability to switch between modes of measuring. The paper aims to elicit the temporal, bodily, affective and spatial intricacies of archaeological labour in the trenches, and contributes to critical ethnographic accounts on materiality, context, and comparison in Science and Technology Studies. In doing so, it takes material groovings in archaeological fieldwork as evocative acts of scientific measurement.