'To address the past (and future), to speak with ghosts, is not to entertain or reconstruct some narrative of the way it was, but to respond, to be responsible, to take responsibility for that which we inherit (from the past and the future), for the entangled relationalities of inheritance.'
Karen Barad, 'Quantum Entanglements and Hauntological Relations of Inheritance'
The interesting thing about ghost is that they are immaterial and material, they are both idea and form, if you believe in them they will always be present, apparition or not. A ghost is a representation of something that has once been, but no longer exists in its previous physicality, yet in its appearance is still very much alive in the present and beyond. But a ghost does not always have to exist as a fully formed image or apparition. The idea of a ghost existing is enough to suggest the idea of presence. And this suggestion of form, of appearance, of the image of something, mutates as life changes, in a personal manipulation of time and space. Because at the heart of it, a ghost is a personal representation.
But can an object be a ghost or can an object have a ghost?
And as I explore this question I think more about how artworks and consumer objects channel the dead constantly. Through repetition of style, concept or identity many contemporary objects revive the dead as the new. To me it seems the need to surround these objects with empty space has become important for framing their authenticity of old as new. This gives the object power, beauty and weight, to rise up from the dead. But is this space really empty? Could it in fact be full?
This is a question that can be answered only through speculation that when raising the dead you are not just dealing with a corpse, but spirit too. And if this is believed to be true, then the artworks and objects presented to us, through this channeling of the dead, could be seen as ectoplasm and the space around them spirits. The space is full, haunted by objects, the ghosts of the histories and anecdotes necessary to experience a secret key to the object that stands before you. And if you were to throw out a blanket in to that space what form would you return? What is the shape of these spirits?
Ghosts are trans-temporal entities. They can be characterized by their resistance to linearity and progress. They are disruptors of one-direction narratives, favouring instead a process of entanglement and simultaneous engagement.
They reject the vanishing-point perspective mode of visual organization.
They evolve together with technology and accept their own subsequent morphology and representation.
People we carry with us. Or people that wait for us in places, objects, traces, texts. Or not people at all. Forces. But forces that can, sometimes, be gathered in the form of a person, using the device of a name.
The machine ghosts of the algorithmic world never stop communicating through their new ethers, into their omniscient databases that claim even to predict the future.
MONOTYPES and MONOPRINTS
Even though there is often no distinction made between monotypes and monoprints, it is also sometimes said that there is a difference in the procedures of the two kinds of prints:
the word MONOPRINT is sometimes used to refer to a unique image that is created from any number of different and separate plates, or an accumulation of layered printing matrices (woodblocks, lithoplates, stones, and so on…)., and that may also use the same printing elements (for example already employed editioning blocks), but are ultimately unique and distinct in terms of any single one, or combination of, the following aspects: printing colours; the order / layering of printings; the number of blocks used; post-printing hand-painting of the impressions.
MONOTYPE, on the other hand, is said to be a uniquely drawn print that can use any flat surface, such as a magnesium plate, a copper plate, or a sheet of plexiglass. The image is applied to the surface with any number of techniques and materials, after which an impression is pulled and the monotype is considered completed, or another plate or hand-painting is added to the image, which makes the possibilities endless.
There is, however, a complication in either PRINTS and TYPES, as the prefix MONO is said to be slightly misleading:
As there is often enough ink left on the plate, a second impression might be pulled, which is often called “ghost” or “ghost print”, which are kinds of image-ghosts. These ghosts are often considered inferior in terms of their quality, although their inferiority might sometimes also be precisely the desired material and/or visual advantage. Whether a ghost is desirable or not in this instance depends on intention.
What can we learn from the ghosts of the past and how might this allude to shaping of the future? William Morris continues to haunt our times, this time on the high street in the mass produced reproductions of his designs through a collaboration of past and present, H&M x Morris & Co. I think about the contradictory nature of Morris and how he would have reacted to this accessibility of his work today.
What can we learn from the ghosts of the past and how might this allude to shaping of the future? William Morris continues to haunt our times, this time on the high st in the mass produced reproductions of his designs through a collaboration of past and present, H&M X Morris & Co. I think about the contradictory nature of Morris and how he would have reacted to these further contradictions today.
The ghost is the idea that will not leave you, refuses to accept its death. On the edges of perception, there it is, there it is, on the edge of words, on the edge of articulation. Ghost is being. Ghost is life. Let it possess your language. Rethink.
One sound becomes all voice. By return, the echo cannot be reduced to a singular form. The host. A single imprint stands for all imprints. One memory is all memories. Ghost armies, ghost nations, ghost code, ghost language. The wild hunt; folklore as fossil. The devil and the improperly buried. The resurrected will commune as one in heaven. All souls.