An excellent, detailed introduction to the application of the term “hauntology” to music is at Rouge’s Foam here. The term was coined by Jacques Derrida in Spectres of Marx. It plays on “ontology”; the two terms sounds almost identical in French. He asserts that the spectre of Marx’s ideas will continue to haunt Western consciousness in the same way that the spectre of communism was haunting Western Europe when Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.
In music it has come to be associated with artists such as Burial, Boards of Canada and the Ghost Box label (see the Rouge’s Foam post for listening). However, its application is much broader than music. Here it is discussed in relation to visual art. As theorist Mark Fisher notes here, hauntology can be seen as a paradigm for the malaise of postmodernism, a static world haunted by the ghosts of the past after Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History. Continue reading “Hauntology”
1. The fact that writers such as Reynolds feel the need to jump to its defence is a symptom of the profound mistrust that large parts of society have of Theory, specifically critical/cultural theory, sometimes known as continental philosophy. Is this something that is growing or has it always been the case? Continue reading “In defence of theory”
A recent article by Christopher Hart in the Mail has criticised Danish director Lars von Trier’s latest film Antichrist as ‘stomach-turning’, ‘revolting’, and ‘sick pretentious filth’. This is the latest in a series of outraged reactions to the film, following alleged fainting at the premiere in Cannes and a lawsuit by Christian organisations in France. Von Trier response did little to calm matters, announcing that he was commanded by God to make the film and is the best director in the world. Whilst all this controversy makes for an entertaining spectacle, and has been nothing but publicity for the film, it also serves to highlight a specifically philosophical issue: the close tie between art and morality. Continue reading “Antichrist morality”