Ignis Fatuus (Ghost Light)

Luke Pendrell

Research output: Non-textual outputDigital or Visual Products


“Plagiarism is necessary. Progress depends on it. It sticks close to an author’s phrasing, exploits his expressions, deletes a false idea, replaces it with the right one. Détournement is the opposite of quotation...”(Debord,The Society of the Spectacle, 1967) Ignis Fatuus takes Debord’s imperative at its word by appropriating and reworking the text of his seminal 1967 text ‘The society of The Spectacle’. The reconfigured text is collaged with a staccato monochromatic montage of subliminal images and cinematic fragments; the hyper-detritus of consumer capitalism over scored with an unsettling soundtrack of glitch and rupture.“The flat eclecticism of the New Aesthetic and the Post-Internet generation—an endlessly multifarious universe that comes prequantified into discrete and isomorphic tumblr thumbnails.”(Mackay, Pendrell and Trafford, Speculative Aesthetics, 2014) The uncannily prescient spectre of Debord haunts the footage throughout. A malign revenant, its scabrous critique as caustically damning of contemporary interactive media as it once was of film and television. More than just Derridean word games or mournful ‘Hauntological’ nostalgia for lost radicalism, Ignis Fatuus conjures ghostly echoes and disturbing undercurrents in contemporary life, a dark parallax to the perception of social media as a benign creative space of opportunity and friendship. The ghost, rather than supernatural relic of a primitive age, is an increasingly prevalent aspect of the modern world. Immateriality and spectrality are axiomatic to the digital realms we inhabit. Life has become an immense accumulation of ghosts. Everything that was once directly lived is now haunted by itself.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2015
Eventother - &Now 2015:Blast Radius, California Institute of Art, Friday 27 March 2015
Duration: 27 Mar 2015 → …

Bibliographical note

© Luke Pendrell 2015


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