Mediated Hauntings: Conjuring Cultural Memory in the Present


Session Title:

  • Mediated Hauntings: Conjuring Cultural Memory in the Present

Presentation Title:

  • Mediated Hauntings: Conjuring Cultural Memory in the Present




  • Vision technologies, such as photography, film and video as well as the CAVE, remain sites of discovery and invention. They are ‘Lab Spaces’ that point towards the imagination of dreams that we can wander through, reflect on, and interrogate. This panel brings together four papers by artists and theorists that reflect on various media arts practices and their conjuring of cultural memory.

    • Leila Sujir will discuss her real-time artwork, Tulipomania, which explores the ghosting of histories through a spatialization of narrative, audio and video projection spaces in 3D. In re-purposing the ‘old’ technology of the CAVE as a ‘vision’ space, Sujir has been augmenting, as well as moving the 3D projections into gallery spaces through the use of low-tech processes.
    • Monika Kin Gagnon will discuss ‘Posthumous Cinema’ and her late father, Canadian artist, Charles Gagnon. Upon his death in 2003, he left 16mm film archives and the unfinished film: R69. Primarily an archival and digitization process, unexpected complexities concerning liminality. death, and media will be explored, underscoring how media stores ‘phantasms of the living’ for playback after bodily death.
    • Larissa Lai will discuss Mariko Mori’s photographic work, Last Departure (1996) which features three replications of the artist dressed as a spiritual being from the future descending into the liminal space of high-tech Kansai airport. The shiny surface of fashion offers unsettling hope under futuristic capitalism, with commitments to race, gender and pastiche, but not to history as event or trauma.
    • Scott Toguri McFarlane will discuss multimedia artist, Raul Ortega Ayala’s Melting Pots (2006). Viewers follow trails of posters, maps, memorabilia, and a video to arrive at a food buffet cooked and served with kitchenware possibly made from scrap steel from the World Trade Center disaster, that was sold to foundries in India, China and South Korea. Questions will include, where and how does the cultural memory of eating take place?