Definitions by James Clarkson


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?

by James Clarkson, Wednesday, 22 May, 2019


Is a copy always explicit? Or can the presence of a copy lead to a momentary blindness, which plants originality and authenticity on to an object in a playful deceit?

by James Clarkson, Wednesday, 22 May, 2019


Living 'Post-Digital' could be understood as living in a preemptive moment. Where anticipated future behaviour affects the way things are acted out in the present. Predictive technology seeks to break down our understood structure of time, where one action is the consequence of of another in chronological sequence. In the preemptive moment algorithms are of greater influence on our decisions. Whether that be shopping on Amazon or the PreCrime style systems are being used to identify future crime hotspots before the crimes have even happen. To say no to these highly personalised and specific streams of data goes only to make them stronger. And in the increasing strength of these system the future begins to increasingly inform the present time.

by James Clarkson, Sunday, 30 June, 2019


Aureola is the word used in religious painting to describe the halo depicted around religious figures heads. A painterly tool designed to create aura in the artwork, elevating the status and emotional impact of the holy figures in these paintings. In the 20th Century the aureola reappeared as the halo lamp, which was designed to perfectly illuminate the faces of models during photoshoots. The fashion shoots used this lighting to create an aura around the commodity. In the 21st century the halo lamp is a cheap lighting tool designed to improve the lighting conditions for selfies. These lamps seek to add aura and highlight individuality to your personal image.
The ubiquitous production of each of these examples only further adds to the power of the image within its intended platform.

by James Clarkson, Sunday, 30 June, 2019

James Clarkson (jamesklclarkson)
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