I extended research in a number of directions to include a self made music piece following a visit to the University of Westminster in December 2019 and attendance at basic instruction on creating music with GarageBand in the nearby Apple Store. This composition was in a Hauntology style and recently in expression has evolved. I also created a video using iMovie that by now is due an update with a refresh of the images used, Parked still are a number of my processed ghost images that have never been shown outside of my course. All of these mediums: sound, video and visual extend somewhat eerily into the realm of Hauntology.

Of Phenomenology and Hauntology

Hauntology is a range of ideas referring to the return or persistence of elements from the social or cultural past, as in the manner of a ghost. The term is a neologism first introduced by French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his 1993 book Specters of Marx. It has since been invoked in fields such as visual arts, philosophy, electronic music, anthropology, politics, fiction, and literary criticism.

“Hauntology” originates from Derrida’s discussion of Karl Marx in Spectres of Marx, specifically Marx’s proclamation that “a spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism” in The Communist Manifesto. Derrida calls on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, particularly a phrase spoken by the titular character: “the time is out of joint”. The word functions as a deliberate near-homophone to “ontology” in Derrida’s native French.

Derrida argues that Marx’s ideas are still relevant today, even though he died in 1883. He writes that Marx’s ideas “haunt” us, in the sense that they are always present, even if we are not always aware of them. Derrida also argues that Marx’s ideas are not simply a matter of the past, but that they have the potential to shape the future.

The concept of hauntology has been used to explore a wide range of issues, including the relationship between the past and the present, the nature of memory, and the possibility of social change. It has also been used to analyze a variety of cultural phenomena, such as the rise of nostalgia, the persistence of colonialism, and the return of fascism.

Hauntology is a complex and challenging concept, but it is also a powerful one. It can help us to understand the past, the present, and the future in new and unexpected ways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s