For a fair while now I’ve been haunted (to use an appropriate phrase I guess) by a short description of Ghost Box Records that accompanied a retrospective music, film and Q&A night of their work at one of the nation’s venerable art institutions.
I suppose in part I use the word haunted as it makes me think of how William Gibson, when talking about creating work, he said that it doesn’t tend to fall from his brow fully formed but rather he would, say, see something spray-painted on the side of a skip and it kind of haunted him… and that would feed into and become part of his work…
I’ve always though that in a very few words (115 to precise, having just counted – or at least set a small semi-invisible robot brain with the task of counting) it summed up both Ghost Box and also captured something very particular of the tools and techniques of that sometimes elusive cultural will o’the wisp hauntology.
So, without further ado, I shall replicate the text below (or strictly speaking I suppose, set many semi-invisible strands of electrons to work at that task):
“Ghost Box is a record label founded in 2004 that unites a small roster of creative talent with a common visual and sonic aesthetic. Inspired by an imagined and misremembered past, this musical and visual world is distinctly British in its sensibilities, condensing a cultural timeline from the early sixties through to the early eighties into one simultaneous and eerily familiar moment.
Julian House’s video for the label is a peculiar mélange of children’s television, 1960s underground animation and evolving op-art mandalas. Using a combination of new digital and old analogue techniques they conjure a world where TV station indents become occult messages and films for schools are exercises in mind control and collective hallucination.”
Visit the original event and to quote Rob Young, experiments in consenusal hallucation here (which also includes questioning and spinning of discs – zeros and ones? – by gatherer in of mushrooms and scribe precursor to a precursor of Summer Isle, Mr Bob Stanley, alongside work by cultural constellators Broadcast).