Tuesday, 31 January 2012

randomness : january - it's about more than things that go bump in the night

On the way to Oxford by train at dusk.
It's been a funny old month. Seems that I couldn't avoid coincidental nudges to push me back on here (a good thing, too). Nudges not least from BBC Radio 4. The month was hardly halfway gone when Saturday Live had a "murder of crows" soundscape and an American surgeon convinced that he'd retrieved alien debris from abductees on Saturday Live. On Woman's Hour a week later there was a discussion about the growth of the psychic industry in recent years and the all-round interest in clairvoyance. It didn't really go anywhere but had some pretty entertaining arguments. Then, yesterday on Radio 4 the Secret Catacombs Of Paris included a visit to the part of the catacombs open to tourists, where six million people's bones dating back 1,000 years lie piled up neatly along dark narrow avenues underground.

Or maybe I listen to Radio 4 just a bit too much. There were other distractions reaching out from the grey areas between popular culture and the paranormal though, the most immediate of which was the description of an exhibition at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan, County Meath. The Mind Was Dreaming. The World Was Its Dream is a curated show inspired by author Jorge Luis Borges (whose quote provides the exhibition title). Three artists follow his lead to "make manifest the imagined and remembered into reality, creating works in which the real and fantastical coexist." 

That seemed to sum up why the Spectral Dimension is here. So, a mission statement once again: I do the vaguely gothic stuff, I do the hauntological psychogeographic stuff, I do the straightforward ghosts and the intangible ghosts of our lost pasts and lost futures. I also do the sense of the other, the shadows outwith us and inside us, the disordering of the senses, the breaking through of conventions about reality and the transformations of the ordinary into the extraordinary - even if mostly this blog seems filled with homages to vintage haunted horror games and the like. I do the sense that there's something more than what the eye sees, and that we can't help but be fascinated by those ideas, and that seeing signs of that interest everywhere in culture deserves attention.

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