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About the “museum”

This website and the photography are part of a juried exhibit at Lakehead University

History of the project

THE term MUSEUM is used loosely here to define the complicated curation of intersecting theories around capital (revenge capitalism, biocapitalism), hauntology (Derrida, 1993) and the Covid-19 pandemic. As museums are understood as sites where time, events, memories and objects are “curated” (most often through the gaze of colonialism and power), a “posthuman museum of haunting” de-constructs meaning and linearity of time in favor of overlap, disruption, and collision of modernist dualities such as life/death, past/future, body/mind, self/other. The intent is to provoke un-structured viewer responses to the images and written passages (scholarly citations) and invite dialogue. Interconnecting threads assemble images and words together like Frankenstein’s creature, haunting the viewer with “monstrous theorizing” about our historical moment of simultaneous embodiment/disembodiment, being/erasure, memory and possibility. The plague of Covid-19 performs on our bodies haunted by a rapacious capitalism in which like notable literary ghosts and other creatures, provoke scenes of “revenge.” The museum curates this moment– to capture the ruptures and fissures of memory (life before Covid?), the haunting of “dead” public spaces, the monstrous effects of bio-capitalism upon the body, and how technology and carbon-based life forms merge in a posthuman landscape haunted by the after-human, memories of the dead, and spectres of things to come.

The images and words in these pages are ruminations on spatial narratives, contested space, architecture, fiction and memory. (see copyright rules)

These images where photographs taken by me during the quarantine of spring 2020 along a hiking trail which follows the remains of an abandoned monastery in Maryland. Other photos were taken at other sites of haunting or abandonment. The goal is to engage readers with the image, the individual responses they may evoke, in dialogue with the passages about how capital, artificial intelligence, and pandemics invite us to re-imagine what haunting is and can be. In the juxtaposition between reader, image and passages, I hope new conversations will begin.

The images and words here are intended as “Vague, irrational and indeterminate, they haunt the middle ground between subject and object (Böhme, 1993Böhme, 2013). ‘We are unsure where they are’ (Bille et al., 2015, 32) yet we feel them all around us.”  –Buser, 2017

“Hauntology is not, therefore, primarily about nostalgia: it is about imagination. Any progressive politics worthy of the name is founded on our ability to imagine a world better than the one we presently have. If capitalist realism represents the attempt to take our political imagination away from us, then hauntology can do the work to get it back.”

Tom Whyman

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