Hauntology


Posted: 2010-06-05 12:26   |  More posts about art electronic experimental music oddities

I've been listening to Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti a lot today, after having discovered them through this boomkat review. The album is absolutely stunning and while discussing it with a friend, it raised the question of a recently very prominent and fashionable trend in underground music: emulating sounds of the past, not just in style but in their entire aesthetic altogether. (See Nite Jewel, Best Coast, The Advisory Circle, etc.)

The concept of Hauntology was then brought to my attention by a knowledgeable member of the electronic music community. From Wikipedia:

The idea suggests that the present exists only with respect to the past, and that society after the end of history will begin to orient itself towards ideas and aesthetics that are thought of as rustic, bizarre or "old-timey"; that is, towards the "ghost" of the past. In this, it is has some similarity with the cyberpunk literary movement. Derrida holds that because of this intellectual realignment, the end of history will be unsatisfactory and untenable.

The name and concept fundamentally come from Marx's assertion that a "spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of communism." Derrida holds that the spirit of Karl Marx is even more relevant after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the demise of communism, that the West's separation from the ignorance of the suffering still present in the world will "haunt" it and provide the impetus for a fresh interest in communism.

Fascinating!

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