Forest Swords. © the artist

The Time is Out of Joint.
Guest blog by Lauren Lucretia Elliott

Hauntology is embedded in the idea that there are a number of unrealised futures, deriving from past points in history, it makes us feels a nostalgia for a future that never was. The term was coined by Jacques Derrida in his 1993 work, Spectres of Marx and is a play on the word ‘ontology’, which in French means the study of "the paradoxical state of the spectre, which is neither being nor non-being”. After midnight on March 24th, in Britain, we will turn our clocks one hour forward, to mark the beginning of British Summer Time, and ‘skip’ an hour in time. Where does this time go? On this evening, we are going to mark this ‘skip’ into a potentially false future by looking at past imaginings.

In this age, many people believe that we are already living in the future and our lives move at an ever-increasing pace, so I propose that we slow down for an evening to look to past futures inspiration, in order to re-animate the past and make us feel a nostalgia for memories that never happened and a future that never was. A nostalgia for nostalgia. 

There are a number of hauntological artists at work today. The most prominent of which might be Berlin-based, The Caretaker, aka Leyland Kirby, who alters pre-war ballroom music to create a far more haunting and eerie sound, nostalgia for a future that never was. His original inspiration was found in the ballroom scene in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In his past few albums he has become fixated on the theme of memory and Amnesia. This idea was particularly highlighted in his 2005 work Theoretically Pure Anterograde Amnesia “where he explored the idea of “being trapped in the endless present, the bad infinity”.

Accompanying this skip in time will be an auto-destructive recording piece Ground Rhythms, by Merseyside musician, Forest Swords. This specially-recorded piece is inspired by various demolished buildings in the North East of England and is intended to unify the idea of time and music disappearing simultaneously. The piece will be recorded onto reel-to-reel tape players, which will be set to wipe themselves as they play. The self-destructive nature of the piece is intended to challenge the way in which one ‘consumes’ music; making it a unique and immediate listening experience. His music is well-known for its absorbing R’n’B style and a resonating, ghostly atmosphere.

Pye Corner Audio has been “magnetically aligning ferrous particles since 1970”.  He is a UK-based producer who also goes by the moniker of The Head Technician. Heis influenced by the music of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in the 1970s and creates hauntingly retro futuristic sounds.

This Time is Out of Joint will take place at the Star and Shadow Cinema on Sat 24 March 2012 between 9:30pm and 2:30am. As we turn our clocks forward and make this jump into the future and skip an hour in time, we will stop and look to the futures that never were, rather than our immediate one to experience a nostalgia for the future. Book tickets here.

Lauren Lucretia Elliott