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Hauntology
All things hauntological, atemporal and future past nostalgic in music, media, art and ideas
Curated by Sean Albiez
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Dickens’s Haunted Christmas: The Ethics of the Spectral Text - Brad Fruhauff

From 2007

'Haunting, as we have seen, concerns the unsettling of a self by an other exceeding conceptualization, and the Gothic can be read as preeminently concerned with this spectral disturbance and variously committed to containing, disciplining or playing with it. Dickens, especially in his Christmas stories, deploys the Gothic to trouble selves otherwise closed off from others; he thus subjects his characters to hauntings that divide them from themselves not in favor of an ultimate unity of self but for an orientation of care for the other, of a responsibility that carries the weight of the whole world (joyfully!) in its fathomless desire to bless others.' - Brad Fruhauff
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Jóhann Jóhannsson : IBM 1401, A User's Manual

Jóhann Jóhannsson : IBM 1401, A User's Manual | Hauntology | Scoop.it

From 2007

 

'In 1964, a computer - the IBM 1401 Data Processing System - arrived in Iceland, one of the very first computers to be imported into the country. The 1401 has been called the "Model T" of the computer industry - the first affordable, mass produced digital business computer . The chief maintenance engineer for this machine was Jóhann Gunnarsson, my father. A keen musician, he learned of an obscure method of making music on this computer - a purpose for which this business machine was not at all designed. The method was simple. The computer's memory emitted strong electromagnetic waves and by programming the memory in a certain way and by placing a radio receiver next to it, melodies could be coaxed out - captured by the receiver as a delicate, melancholy sine-wave tone.

 

When the IBM 1401 was taken out of service in 1971, it wasn't simply thrown away like an old refrigerator, but was given a little farewell ceremony, almost a funeral, when its melodies were played for one last time. This "performance" was documented on tape along with recordings of the sound of the machine in operation.

 

When my father told me about this in the year 2001, I felt that, besides being a nice, touching story, it reflected many things that I was interested in. Man-machine interaction, old, discarded technology, the nostalgia for old computers, human and artificial intelligence, technological progress and human evolution, the "spirit" and the machine. I started to write music using those themes, basing it on those 30 year old recordings of the IBM 1401 computer.' (Jóhann Jóhannsson)

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The Outer Church: REVENANT FORMS: FUTURE-PAST PREVIEW

The Outer Church: REVENANT FORMS: FUTURE-PAST PREVIEW | Hauntology | Scoop.it

From 2007 (originally published in Plan B magazine)

 

Britain still has its surprises, its secrets. On a recent visit to Broadstairs in Kent, this writer stumbled across a book entitled Ghost Stations in a dusty old second-hand booksellers. The book comprises barely-credible 'true' stories of haunted British airfields written in a stilted, untutored style. Yet it's still a compellingly eerie read, the fact that it was discovered in a town which seems decidedly more Pagan than Christian, its charity shops full to bursting with occult tomes, only reinforcing its weird energy.

It is precisely this energy that Jim Jupp and Julian House, founders of Ghost Box, have been tapping into for the last five years. The pair cite "library music, folklore, programmes for school and colleges, British horror movies, lost soundtracks, haunted landscapes, defunct educational establishments and weird supernatural stories" as key influences, while the label's design aesthetic (credited to House, an in-demand graphic designer) adds a further dimension of authenticity to the project, evoking Op Art, 60s-style abstraction and the celebrated house style of Penguin Books.

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Article: Spirits in a material world: hauntology, historical materialism, and phenomenological medium theory

From Western Journal of Communication, October 1st 2007

 

'Medium theory, most often in the phrase "the medium is the message," has had a contentious history vis-a-vis media and cultural studies. This essay argues that, along with that of Karl Marx, the spirits of Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, and Martin Heidegger haunt us on a regular basis in media and cultural studies. If they already exist in ghostly form, perhaps by exorcising them through the logic of the specter, we can allow them to comingle with the living via historical materialism, Marxism, and phenomenology, along with a Heideggerian "questing for technics."' - Marc Leverette

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Burial: Unedited Transcript - Mark Fisher

Burial: Unedited Transcript - Mark Fisher | Hauntology | Scoop.it

From 2007

 

Mark Fisher's unedited transcript of his interview with Burial

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Flak Magazine | Nostalgia Now: Hauntology's Specter

Flak Magazine | Nostalgia Now: Hauntology's Specter | Hauntology | Scoop.it

12.10.07

 

'The longing of nostalgia has turned to a lulling. This is so much the case in music that the idea of retro, which still seemed clever ten years ago, is now second nature. Enter into this dreamless sleep an unlikely buzzword — "hauntology" — and the musical contrarians it describes.'

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