Exploring - and taking as a yardstick - Mark Fisher's Ghosts of My Life, Paul Wolinski considers the apparent paralysis of contemporary culture and the slow cancellation of the future through the lens of the success and failures of advances in electronic music production
'What hauntology demonstrates is that our conception of the dead has progressed a stage further. It would appear that in order for us to engage with the dead now it is necessary to become like them. Hauntology represents an ontological erasure of the dead, but also of the living as well. By extending the concept of the spectral to all notions of exchange we universalize the principle that the ghost is the motor within otherwise dead matter. When we look at a photograph of a deceased relative we feel that they still in some partial way exist for us. The photograph is a mere object of paper and light sensitive chemicals but in some way the presence of the dead haunts it. But who is it who is witness to this haunting? It is precisely the hidden being behind things, the animating presence, the ghost in the machine. This insubstantial self attaches itself to things, whether human or otherwise, and we experience all meaningful interaction within the “insubstance” of this self; a hauntological discourse amongst equally spectral entities.' - Christopher Pankhurst
Avert Your Eyes: Demdike Stare's Miles Whittaker interviewed The Skinny Or are they indelibly channelling the spectre of hauntology through their bleak electronics and arcane vinyl raiding? Or maybe it's just all a load of rubbish.
"Seatman is a kindred spirit, and this is his most evocative and personal sounding work to date." Jim Jupp, (Ghost Box, 2013)
'its sci-fi meets pagan - pastoral soundscapes fits the vibe of Giles Eyre’s spooky folly. Seatman’s odd melodies sit with industrial repetition to convey the scares of the synth laden themes and incidental scene setting pieces of early 70s through early 80s kids TV wondrously whilst at the same time creating an imagined history of this medieval building. Jim Jupp from the mighty Ghost Box contribute extra production (which is always a seal of approval)' Jon Mills (Shindig Magazine issue 39 May 2014)
'TODAY: Mark Fisher Book Launch The Quietus Fisher will be in conversation with the Quietus' John Doran about the book, which Described by Saint Etienne founder and fellow journalist Bob Stanley as "the first book to really make sense of the fog...'
'Is feminism undead? Feminism and Popular Culture seeks to map the fraught and often unpredictable relationship between popular culture, feminism and postfeminism ...
Feminism & Popular Culture is different from others texts in the literature in that it emphasizes the impact of the postfeminist Gothic throughout ...
Chapter 1, ‘‘Postfeminism’ or ‘ghost feminism’?’ puts Madonna’s legacy or affect within the context of Derrida’s hauntology: “With its investment in notions of otherness, memory, nostalgia, inheritance and futurity, hauntology appears to encompass many of the issues that have beset debates in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries about feminism’s relationship to the past and its potential to intervene in women’s futures' - Jade Montserrat
'“It’s transforming a disposable media storage device made for cloned copying into a one-of-a-kind cult object,” he states. But that’s not to say he’s too precious about the whole thing. “In a way, it's very tongue in cheek. There's a lot of fetishism about vinyl, but I see this as quite throw-away, really. I do it for free. People bring a CD and I give them one in return. On a few occasions people have asked me to go into commercial production, but that’s not really my intention.”
Kolkowski is making art, but he’s also toying with the nostalgia that swells around aging audio formats. In the United Kingdom, just over 780,000 vinyl albums were sold in 2013, the largest number since 1997. In the United States,Jack White sold 40,000 copies of the special vinyl edition of his latest solo album,Lazaretto, during its first week of release. It was the biggest week of vinyl sales since Soundscan began tracking data in 1991. (The previous record was around 33,000, for Pearl Jam’s 1994 vinyl-themed album, Vitalogy.)' - Amy Freeborn
'In his book ‘Retromania, Pop Culture’s Addiction To Its Own Past’ (2011), music journalist Simon Reynolds states that popular (music) culture is suffering from retromania, an incurable addiction to its own past. According to Niels van Poecke, his analysis is based on a nineteenth century—and therefore very modern—notion of ‘authenticity’. It makes himself a symptom of that which he criticizes: retromania. Popular music culture nowadays is neither modern nor postmodern, but metamodern.'
'This witty short proffers futuristic visions of London landmarks by way of a 'magic' camera. But while its gleeful inventor turns out to be an escapee from the local asylum, French director Gaston Quiribet may not have been entirely barking up the wrong tree with one of his trick shots - which imagines Trafalgar Square flooded by rising sea levels. Could this be a prophetic glimpse of our great capital's fate?' (Simon McCallum)
All titles on the BFI Films channel are preserved in the vast collections of the BFI National Archive. To find out more about the Archive visit
'This paper unravels the idea of the ‘ghost town’ - and more specifically the deserted district of Varosha, Famagusta - as it relates to heritage, questioning the discursive dynamics and affective potential of what can seem a trite and therefore hollow phrase. Drawing on apposite theories of hauntology (Derrida 1993) and the ghosts of place (Bell 1997) I argue that there is a dense back-and-forth between two distinct positions in this term, both of which play into wider heritage processes. The first understands the ghost town as an empty if uniquely atmospheric space, ripe for development or ‘dark tourism’ (Lennon and Foley 2000). Heritage is implicated here in the protection and promotion of sites which may be perceived as ‘ruin porn’ - by turns melancholy and exhilarating but fundamentally removed from contemporary life. The second position unsettles this reading by focusing on the complexities of the very word ‘ghost’, here understood as ‘the sense of the presence of those who are not physically there’ (Bell 1997: 813). From this perspective, common heritage practices (including collecting, exhibiting and narrating) might be seen as an attempt to psychologically re-inhabit vacant places, a process which takes on extra significance around the highly politicised context of Varosha. Through fieldwork, archival research and intertextual and visual analysis I track the description of Varosha as a ghost town across journalism, contemporary art and diasporic discourse, in the process anatomising this spectral designation to reconceptualise its wider relevance to heritage.' - Colin Sterling
'... David Foster Wallace predicted a hopeful turn. He could see a new wave of artistic rebels who “might well emerge as some weird bunch of anti-rebels… who dare somehow to back away from ironic watching, who have the childish gall actually to endorse and instantiate single-entendre principles… Who eschew self-consciousness and hip fatigue.” Yet Wallace was tentative and self-conscious in describing these rebels of sincerity. He suspected they would be called out as “backward, quaint, naïve, anachronistic.” He didn’t know if their mission would succeed, but he knew real rebels risked disapproval. As far as he could tell, the next wave of great artists would dare to cut against the prevailing tone of cynicism and irony, risking “sentimentality,” “ovecredulity” and “softness.' - Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll
'The birth of popular culture also brought about its very own destruction, albeit quite prematurely. But what is culture if not a form of recycling, an ongoing citation? We know that there is nothing new under the sun. What we considered as new, is the not yet explored. How then, this exploration could be made entirely possible? How do we revive what’s already—or what’s always—been dead? What is exactly to be done?'
'Once we have a medium, we become that which uses it, and what we were before is forgotten. When we move on from a media platform, we abandon whole modes of creation we may have been scarcely aware of. I began to write fiction on a manual typewriter, moving on to word processing a few years later. The nature of writing changed, but as that which word-processed, the nature of the change wasn’t that evident to me, nor is it now. Recently, I’ve watched with increasing interest as writers less than half my age seek out working typewriters, drawn by word from their contemporaries that composing on these machines that go only forward is fundamentally different, and somehow valuable in itself. The 78 Project, I think, is the musical equivalent of that, and more. An atemporal open-ended voyage into the intricate and unique “thingness” of a media platform that had largely vanished before I myself began to listen to recorded music.
I have enormous admiration for everyone who put The 78 Project together. It’s one of the most intriguing contemporary approaches to technology I know of, and one that bodes well for its century and our future. More like this, please.' - William Gibson