Project Members

elin-andreassenElin Andreassen is an artist and photographer based in Trondheim, Norway, educated from the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. She works with relational aesthetics and her projects are often rooted in social relations, memories and power structures. Among her latest projects/books are Pyramiden – a Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic (2010) (with B. Olsen and H. Bjerck), Trondheim Verft as (2009) (with Thomas Brandt), and Tell me no lie (2007) (with Vibeke Steinsholm). (





Bjerck-RuinMemoriesHein Bjerck is professor in archaeology at the Museum of Archaeology and Natural History at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway. In addition to theoretical studies of human-thing relations, his research interest is Early Stone Age and comparative perspectives on marine adaptations. He is also a former Cultural Heritage Officer at the Governor of Svalbard’s Department of Environment Conservation (1996-1999), where he was involved in managing modern ruins – mining enterprises and basecamps from scientific expeditions (cf. His latest book (with Elin Andreassen and Bjørnar Olsen) is Persistent Memories. Pyramiden – a Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic, cf. Project references. (



Burstrom-RuinMemoriesMats Burström is professor of Archaeology at Stockholm University, Sweden. His main areas of interest are the archaeology of the contemporary past and the relation between material culture and memory. Within this field he has conducted fieldwork in Cuba, Estonia, Germany, and Sweden. He has also been working with issues concerning the ideology and practice of cultural heritage management. He has published several recent articles on these interests. (




DeSilvey-RuinMemoriesCaitlin Desilvey is a cultural and historical geographer whose research investigates the aesthetics of obsolescence and the cultural significance of material transience. Current projects include a research network exploring the concept of ‘anticipatory history’ and a collaborative documentary project on mending and repair practices. She also has carried out research on themes of landscape and memory, adaptive heritage management, and the intersection between geography and contemporary arts practice. She is a member of the Geographies of Creativity and Knowledge Research Group in the University of Exeter Geography Department. (




González-Ruibal-RuinMemoriesAlfredo González-Ruibal is an archaeologist with the Heritage Laboratory at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). His research focuses on the archaeology of the contemporary past and, more specifically, on the darker side of the 20th and 21st century -war, dictatorship, predatory capitalism, and colonialism. He has conducted research related to these topics in Spain, Brazil, Ethiopia and, more recently, Equatorial Guinea. He is the editor of Reclaiming Archaeology: Beyond the Tropes of Modernity (Routledge, 2013). For a list of publications in English click here. (



Lucas-RuinMemoriesGavin Lucas is associate professor in archaeology at the University of Iceland, Reykjavík. His research interests focus on the relationship between archaeological theory and practice as well as the archaeology of the modern world. His current projects include post-excavation work on the post-Reformation phases of the episcopal manor and seminary of Skálholt, as well as research into two abandoned 20th century sites, the latter as part of the Ruin Memories project. Recent books are The Archaeology of Time (Routledge, 2005), An Archaeology of Colonial Identity (Springer, 2004), and his latest work, Understanding the Archaeological Record (2012), has just been published by the Cambridge University Press. (





Bjørnar Olsen is professor in archaeology at the Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, University of Tromsø, Norway. His research interests include northern and Sámi prehistory and history, museology, material culture and thing theory. His latest books are In Defense of Things: Archaeology and the Ontology of Objects (2010), Persistent Memories: Pyramiden – a Soviet Mining Town in the High Arctic (2010; with E. Andreassen and H. Bjerck), and Archaeology: The Discipline of Things (U. of California Press, 2012; with Shanks, Webmoor and Witmore). Bjørnar is director of the Ruin Memories project. (





Pétursdóttir-RuinMemoriesÞóra Pétursdóttir is a PhD student in archaeology in the Department of Archaeology and Social Anthropology, Univeristy of Tromsø. She has a BA in history and geography from the University of Iceland and an MA in archaeology from the University of Tromsø. Her interests within archaeology include archaeological theory, material culture and thing theory, archaeology of death and burial and archaeology of the recent/contemporary past. (




Webmoor-ruinmemoriesTimothy Webmoor is assistant professor adjunct  at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Formerly research fellow in science and technology studies (STS) at Oxford University, Tim works at the hinge of visuality and ontological matters. In addition to journal articles and book contributions, he’s the co-author of  Archaeology: The Discipline of Things (U. of California Press, 2012) and co-editor of Computational Picturing (2012) and Visualization in the Age of Computerization (Routledge, 2014). (



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It is hard to find a university with more international students than columbia, and a graduate school more international than sipa