Science holds that there is a central "truth" to every artifact, which is seen as the primary evidence for the specific time period investigated. This is then used in writing cultural histories. Once again, this relates with the above-mentioned assertion by Bassi, that the visual orientation and accurate depiction of recent history via the visual media inspires the same for art from periods before such technological advancements as photographs. This also influences the way in which contemporary art is displayed and viewed.
As such, the contextualization of the narrative in creating historical texts is mutually influencing among the past, present and future, with the present carrying the most influence. Current culture and contextualization necessarily influences interpretations of art from the past, and particularly from the ancient past. In this way, the distance in terms of time and culture is bridged by narrative interpretation and contextualization. Although this may be inaccurate in terms of scientific and photographic requirements, the principles from these disciplines are nonetheless applied towards providing at least consistent speculation.
Baetens & Van Looy (2007) address the concept of art and object in terms of further technological development. In today's world, technology is changing and evolving rapidly. This also influences art, narrative, and the contextualization of these. The obsession with accurately historicizing the ancient past is similarly under the influence of technology, with techniques such as carbon dating used to extract every possible element of information from the artifact under examination. In this way, it can be seen that not only the scientific revolution, but also the Information age, contributes to the narrative of historical texts and artifacts.
Baetens & Van Looy also addres the issue of modern art and how this contextualizes via culture, particularly in the context of digitization. Their article addresses the relationship between digitization and cultural heritage - determining the influence of the one over the other, and how this might be contextualized in terms of culture.
Interestingly, digitization adheres more closely to the paradigm of change than that of fixed and certain knowledge so long pursued by historians and archaeologists. Digitization is fluid, and as such lends itself particularly well to contextualization and interpretation, as both function best as changing processes. Indeed, digitization may lend it self most effectively to object-based narrative in terms of historical accounts for this very reason. History, like art, is dynamic, although this may not appear so at first glance.
It has been seen above that history is viewed through the currently contextual lens. This contextualizes history in terms of the contemporary researcher's life and culture rather than the other way around. Hence, as humanity evolves and develops, history is seen through a variety of interpretive lenses. The further back in time we go, the more enigmatic the events and cultures of that time. Hence ancient history, while constructed from artifacts and ancient texts, is largely open to dynamic interpretation, which changes as society progresses. The same is true of art. Artists comment on the politics an culture of their time. Many are socially and politically active and find in their art a valuable outlet for their personal beliefs and opinions.
Digitization offers the artist the opportunity to combine art and narrative in a variety of new and creative ways, making art, like history, a dynamic process by means of its audience and its requirements. Art can now be posted on the Internet and emailed to friends. Text and music files can be added to the visual arts. A large amount of followers can discuss the work in real time via their Internet connections. These elements are indicative of the fact that art has become much more accessible to the general public than the case had been before. In this way, artists connect directly with their audience, and feedback helps them to develop and grow in their social and political comment. It is these type of artists that will leave behind the works to indicate to future generations how this generation lived.
In conclusion, narrative is an essential part of craft, particularly in terms of ancient times. More than ever, the human collective can cooperate via the artistic narrative to ensure a dynamic growth in historical discovery. Narrative and the art object therefore work together to become much more than the sum of their parts.
Art, culture, narrative and history are inextricably intertwined. The art critic and historian should both understand the importance not only of science and excavation, but also of recognizing the dynamic nature of history seen through art. Art is representative of a certain time and culture, and should be recognized as a valuable device for determining specific history.
Albano, Caterina. 2007. Displaying lives: the narrative of objects in biographical exhibitions. Museum and Society, March 2007. Vol. 5 Is 1. http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/6aa/6aa459.htm
Baetens, Jan & Van Looy, Jan 2007. digitising cultuarl heritage; the role of Intereptation in cultural Preservation. http://www.imageandnarrative.be/digital_archive/baetens_vanlooy.htm
Bassi, Karen. 2006 Things of the Past: Objects and the time in Graak Narrative. Johns Hopkind University Press