'Successful art, music and cinema of the last fifteen years have made us unforgiving of this type of strategy: nostalgia is almost always synonymous with trickery and creative sterility, an epidemic afflicting a generation who don’t know how to invent the present, let alone the future.' - Claudia Durastanti
'What is striking about Netflix’s Stranger Things is exactly its emphasis on strange things. The suffix draws attention to what we mean by things: who or what are we comparing the stranger things to? Ourselves? The creatures we coexist with, the ones we have already charted, taxonomised, ordered and made familiar through Enlightenment science, zoology and philosophy? How many horror films have we seen where that which is monstrous is not other to us but somehow represents the other within us? As Virginia Woolf said of Henry James’ ghosts: ‘They have their origin within us. They are present whenever the significant overflows our powers of expressing it; whenever the ordinary appears ringed with the strange’ (1921). When what we take as given, as natural or normal–is revealed as inherently disturbed–the boundaries of meaning violently ruptured or haunted, there incurs a fundamental split in what we take to be reality itself. We are forced to question our place in the ‘world’ not just as a human but as a physical subject tout court.' - mariaxrose
From 2011 - 'What is nostalgia good for, then? For one thing, it runs search-and-rescue missions against the disposability of consumer capitalism. And it raises exception to the great leveling effect of the Internet, the perpetual digital now that tears cultural artifacts out of context to make them into objects of curiosity or pastiche. And it’s a reminder that it matters not only that an idea or an image was created, but when — that things speak most fully in chorus and counterpoint to other events and concepts of the same era.' - Carl Wilson
Eurovision by Steckdose, released 25 September 2016 released on Still Heat Recordings - '... Blistered VHS soundtracks , tech-noise, dark ambience, industrial dub, hauntology, hiss and smudged drones .. Ltd edition Cassette / DL only label.'
'Here I'm playing with the idea of creating a hauntological film. Hauntology encompasses the ideas of "the past inside the present", bordering between nostalgia and an enigmatic remoteness of real or made up pasts.
Heavily influenced by the British music label Ghost Box (http://www.ghostbox.co.uk/, who play along similar chords) I wanted to explore the concepts behind Hauntology and what I personally consider to be artificial memory, through a physical Ghost Box (which in reality was an old Akai Tape recorder) and also the look of the film itself, hence the exagerrated sixties/seventies feel in the footage (which I actually shot digitally with a Canon 550D), and using the penguin-esque design and pallette, which is a nod to both Ghost Box but also the overall design aesthetics from the past. In addition, analog technology plays a large role in the Hauntological canon as well, like the use of the Cathode Ray- Oscilloscope.
I wanted the music to be both haunting and modernistic, bridging between Sixties Sci-Fi soundtracks and Modernistic music. The background voice is gathered from an old NRK news archive about Life during the sixties, featuring topics like time, death and so on...' - John Christian Ferner Apalnes
'Around about the time of 'Tender Buttons' a theory started circulating. In an essay on the scene, Simon Reynolds coined the phrase Hauntology. This was in relation largely to the Ghost Box record label - run by the graphic designer Julian House and fellow music artist Jim Jupp. The idea basically cantered around a nostalgia for a lost future. A utopianism which was dreamed of but never realised. The music looked back to a time when the future didn't come with doom laden connotations but could be looked upon with a degree of wonder. This music was made by artists like Belbury Poly, The Focus Group and the Advisory Circle. The scene had a melancholic air - inevitable due to the theme of lost utopias - but also a playful sense of messing with the past. Though not sharing the same sound a number of different artists were loosely linked to the scene.
The dubstep of Burial was said to be a reaction to the reality of the rave dream not coming into fruition, Boards of Canada used warm analogue synths over contemporary electronics to explore ideas of innocence, childhood and nostalgia, whilst Arial Pink created a lo-fi interpretation of forgotten pop music. Broadcast are also a band which has been linked to this idea, and I think that there is some truth in that, however I still believe the band are not that easy to pigeonhole.' - Eden Tizard
'The EVP Sessions takes its inspiration from Konstantin Raudive’s notorious Breakthrough experiments of the 1970s, in which he divined spirit voices from electronic white noise. Each session includes a range of new commissioned work alongside special guests – each performance resonating psychic echoes of technological ruptures and corporeal gasps, peering in at what lies beneath our circuit-boards and screens.'
Location (with MAP): Bluecoat Date/Time: Thursday 8 December 2016.
'Toll shows Norton is surely becoming a master of music that, alongside other modern outlier visionaries such as Daniel Patrick Quinn, is not concerned with purity and nostalgia, but instead pieces itself together from the flotsam and jetsam of sounds and tales that collect all around us. The fact that with Toll he creates a folklore where ancient tales of Breton Princess riding the seas atop a fearsome horse (‘Dahut’) and characters from the PC MMORPG game Dark Age of Camelot (‘Danaoin’) are given equal weight and importance bear this out. The music meanwhile may seem at times poised and controlled - a staple of electronic music created through laptop means – but bubbling underneath is a teeming mass of sadness and loss that evokes the mutable mess of history, myth, and duration.' - Bob Cluness
'Folk Horror is however still something of an ambiguous creature, as parts of the chain may be found in films and other media that simply do not ‘feel’ like Folk Horror. The reason being, and this is a very important factor, the aesthetic and ambience of what may be considered Folk Horror. It is a look and feel that can be particularly difficult to put a finger on. For some of us it is a matter of instinct; a case of ‘you know it when you see it’. There also is a personally subjective element to it (which can make moderating the Folk Horror Revival Facebook group a busy and bizarre activity). A strange aspect of this however is that a lot of Folk Horror can be found in things that are not actually “horror” at all – examples of this can include tribal costumes, New Nature Writing, landscape painting, photography, rural customs, and fairytales. These things and more incorporate a greater and more special place in the heart of Folk Horror Revival than many aspects of a more general horror. The fact that Folk Horror is so sinuous and sometimes so difficult to pin down, is I think what makes it, at least personally for me, so beguiling and attractive. It is not controlled by a solid manifesto, but follows its own course and provides a wondrous thrill when it appears in the most unexpected of places.' - Andy Paciorek
'I remember the stories my grandparents would tell me about going to this ballroom. My granddad sang here, losing out to Gerry and the Pacemakers in a talent competition. Look up any archive photos and the place feels alive, vibrant, you can almost hear the music playing; a hauntology not unlike The Shining. To rub salt in the wound, there’s now a blue plaque on a plinth to commemorate the “27 occasions” when The Beatles played the ballroom. Only in the north west could a building be deemed both suitable to be demolished (which it was after a fire in 1969, a fate that renders any building on Merseyside handily irreparable) and worthy of a commemorative plaque celebrating its historical importance.' - Adam Scovell
'THE FINISHING LINE is equally memorable, but its lingering place in the British psyche is more associated with nausea than tearful sentimentality. In what has been likened to a Python-esque satire (Krish objects to the comparision), THE FINISHING LINE portrays a fantastical ‘sports day’ along a functioning railway line, where schoolchildren participate in a sanctioned barrage of dangerous games including ‘Fence-breaking’, ‘Stone-throwing’, ‘Last Across’ and – most dire of all – ‘The Great Tunnel Walk’. The end result of all of these games is child fatalities, and Krish doesn’t shy away from showing the bloodied bodies of the fallen players. From today’s perspective, it’s a miracle this ever got made, much less funded by a government organization. But I can bet if you saw this film as a kid, there was no way in hell you’d find yourself near a railway line anytime soon.' - Kier-La Janisse
'Developed in his 1993 work Specters of Marx, Jacques Derrida coined hauntology as a philosophical means of understanding history concerned with the nature of being, existence, reality, and time. The concept of hauntology stems out of postmodern ideology, particularly Derrida's deconstructionism. In simple terms, it is a means of understanding that the present exists in respect to the past, and that the modernist conception of time moving in a linear direction is false. In this sense, the hauntological analysis plays upon an enigmatic form of fragmented and anachronistic memory, in a dreamlike and often subtly dreadful manner. Remnants of the past are re-applied to the present; the past exists within the present, constantly haunting humanity. Although initially utilized to describe the lingering traces of Marxism upon society, hauntology has since branched out in a variety of ways, including the realm of art. Whether by applying ideas to art as a postmodern critique of culture, or by simply studying the philosophy, hauntology may duly be used to explain time in a non-linear fashion and what our position within culture may actually be.' - Transpondency
'What is a city? Functionally, we know how we would answer the question. It is the sprawling mass of a concrete estate, the staccato thrum of a high rise. Hospitals, fat with tubes and machines, plaster casts and pain; the high pitched whine of school playgrounds. A tumorous spread of shops and offices; banks, department stores, factories, warehouses. It is the delicate, chaotic tangle of infrastructure, the thick, slow momentum of a bus exhaust, the rattling comfort of a subway train.
It is more than this, though. We also know that it is more than this. The digital avatar of the street that sits on your screen as you try to navigate the world might be purely functional, but its real life equivalent is not. A street contains houses, of course: it contains cars, road markings, lamp posts, chewing gum, gardens, dogs, litter. The physical manifestations of material existence.
But streets also contain ghosts. The ghosts of people, of conversations, of scabbed knees; the clammy grasp of a held hand, a malicious thought that pops up again and again, triggered by the sight of the pothole you were scuffing with your foot when it first burst, unwarranted, into your consciousness. The city becomes a criss-cross of half-remembered anecdote; here is the street we first kissed on, here is the bar we sat in night after night, your head in my hands as if in prayer. Here, on an innocuous, invisible corner, is where we have our first argument, the paint on the wall we lean on staining your jacket and your jeans with a snowy spray of dust that sits quietly on you for the next week and a half. Each road lines up in a web of you-ness, the clumsy memories of past encounters permeating not only my thoughts but also my city, my eyes, my movements, my cells.' - Emily Reynolds (words) / Alexander Christie (photos)
From 2012 - 'Though pop culture is most often performed by the young, the directors and programmers and gatekeepers—the suits who control and create its conditions, who make the calls and choose the players—are, and always have been, largely forty-somethings, and the four-decade interval brings us to a period just before the forty-something was born. Forty years past is the potently fascinating time just as we arrived, when our parents were youthful and in love, the Edenic period preceding the fallen state recorded in our actual memories. Although the stars of “Meet Me in St. Louis” were young, and its audience old and young both, Vincente Minnelli, its director, was born in 1903, just a year before the World’s Fair he made into a paradise. Matthew Weiner, born in 1965, is the baby in his own series. (The key variable behind the Beatles’ fondness for the twenties was the man they were pleasing and teasing: their great producer and arranger, George Martin, born in 1926.)' - Adam Gopnik
'Lee Gamble is from Birmingham and has been making music since he was 11 years old. His interests range across the arts, philosophy, and theory, pursued in part through his CYRK collective, and currently, through his new record label, UIQ. His Diversions (1994 – 1996), released in 2012, has been described as Leckey-like, a collage of sculpturally refashioned loops and snippets from jungle tapes. Possibly to his chagrin, the release sparked a wave of new conversations in the music press about hauntology. “The whole idea of nostalgia is ridiculous,” Gamble stated in an Electronic Beats interview at the time. “Nostalgia is always about looking back and seeing the good bits […] but what if we concentrated on the aspects of the culture that didn’t work?' - Nora Khan
'I remember being sat on a bench on Dunwich Heath in September last year and seeing the dome of Sizewell B for the first time as an adult. I had just walked a little way down the coast, after a day of filming further down at Orford Ness, from Dunwich beach through to the heath. I simply was not expecting to be greeted by such an alien object. In spite of having been surrounded all day with alien, Cold War architecture on the Ness, Sizewell seemed even more odd, almost impossibly so. In between where I was and where it was sat the Minsmere RSPB reserve, the ultimate in popular wildlife destinations. How could such a foreboding object simply sit uncontested on the land, especially around a land that is filled to the brim with people whose sole purpose in being there was to observe? It screamed of a delicious conspiracy and one that needed to be filmed on super-8 though Heavy Water is more than simply a travelogue. Because of the history of Dunwich and because of a constant engagement with Hauntology as a theme, the two places spoke to each other with such ease as to make the film an almost post-apocalyptic proposition.' - Celluloid Wicker Man
'It's as though Camera are invoking a hauntological form of kosmische music, a disinterring of historical artefacts in order to make some form of sense out of the future that never arrived, never even came close, four decades gone by.' - Euan Andrews
From 2015 - 'Media, Materiality and Memory: Grounding the Groove examines the entwinement of material music objects, technology and memory in relation to a range of independent record labels, including Sarah Records, Ghost Box and Finders Keepers. Moving from Edison’s phonograph to digital music files, from record collections to online archives, Roy argues that materiality plays a crucial role in constructing and understanding the territory of recorded sound. How do musical objects ‘write’ cultural narratives?'
'Monsters are back, or perhaps they never went away. They haunt popular culture and social media. They lurk as images of dread and terror in politics, and figures of thought within academia. As shadows of the past they reappear as the potential biotechnological realities of today. They roam the in-between, making borders and boundaries tremble and shatter; whether these be borders of nation states or bodies, or categories of race, gender, sexuality, ability, class, self and other. In this sense, the monster embodies a promise of disturbances and change, as Donna Haraway argued in her 1992 text “The Promises of Monsters”.'
'Martin Jenkins' project brings together distinct strands of nostalgia—English hauntology, old movie soundtracks, Boards Of Canada-style daydreaming—into a sort of sepiatone kaleidoscope. The music takes a set of worn-out signifiers and creates an artifact of both a non-existent past and the not-so-distant future. So it makes sense that the Head Technician character wouldn't be able to simply reproduce something so idiosyncratic. As Head Technician, Jenkins turns to the classic toolbox of the dance music producer (Roland's TB-303, MC-202 and TR-606) to recreate the Pye Corner Audio aesthetic, like a sketch artist using a pencil to replicate paintings from memory.' - Andrew Ryce
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