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Weird Britain in Exile: Ghost Box, Hauntology, and Alternative Heritage

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Abstract:

This article interrogates some of the themes that have been noted in the critical reception of the musical movement that has been dubbed “hauntology.” In particular, it focuses on a specifically British strain of hauntology—largely concentrating on the record label Ghost Box—and explores the network of associations referenced by the artists involved. The author argues that Ghost Box and related artists reflect on issues such as collecting and heritage, claiming that they are engaged in a form of alternative heritage. Further, he argues that they engage with the uncanny nature of media technologies, particularly the sense in which current digital technologies can be considered as haunted by their analogue counterparts. Finally, he suggests that critics have tended to steer away from exploring issues such as nostalgia and pastiche within the work of such artists due to their rather negative connotations; yet these concepts are crucial to the strategies of many hauntological artists.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03007766.2011.608905

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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