Haunters and the Haunted

Luke Pendrell

Research output: Working paper


If, as Derrida supposes, each era creates its own ghosts, we live in extraordinarily creative times. Our rational, technological world is populated with more phantoms than ever. We are paralysed in a frozen now, smothered by the massed murmurings of the past, stalked by the angry revenants of forgotten radicals and the awful twins of a future, that is at once inconceivable and yetinevitable. In this, final, session of the current Speculative Tate seminars, we take a spectral turn to explore haunting, the figure of the ghost and hyperstitional forms of temporality. The ghost, rather than supernatural relic of a primitive age, is an increasingly prevalent aspect of the modern world. From avatars and chatbots to bump maps and page curls, the digital world is populated with a host of skeuomorphic phantoms clothed in shroud sails of the dust scratches and imperfections of lost surface patination and the process noise of unfulfilled modernism. Whether these persistent incursions are understood in religious, ontological, scientific or epistemological terms, they taunt us by flouting our schemata. Life has become an immense accumulation of ghosts. Everything that was once directly lived is now haunted byitself.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTate Britain
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

© Luke Pendrell, 2014


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