Ghosts & Apparitions was a free online series of audio, video and XR performative artworks by UK and International artists and collectives which explore current realities, a dramatised reality and an alternate reality. The programme ran parallel to and in dialogue with the film programme strand of the same title.

The programme reflected on societal movements, sonic warfare and planetary health, through alternate and ghostly channels of communication and interaction.

The online portal (now closed) was a gateway to a series of works conducted by audio, video and CGI, with elements of participation that are suggested through various levels of metaphorical and physical prompts, as well as narrative driven provocations. 

Since the first glimpses of the moving image, ghosts were haunting our imaginations, including those yet to be. A ghost from then meets a ghost from now – histories and collective memory are born.

The perception of a ghostly identity or object might be apparent but not in a physical sense. Without material stimulus, we’re invited to question what is real vs what is preconceived, generated from fear, desire or otherwise. 

As we investigate further into the roles of both the antagonist and protagonist, Ghosts & Apparitions welcomed the audio and visual works of Maria Court and Trinidad Piriz in The Burst of Things, a recount of stories based on two of the main objects that were integral to Chile’s most recent social outbreak; Kitty Clark in The Experiment, inspired by research into the Philadelphia Experiment, a short audio drama in which contact with an unknown force is attempted through esoteric means; and Paula Albuquerque in Overhead 21, through the immersive sounds of surveillance and weaponized drones, commonly used by Western States as a form of strategic stress-inducing intimidation.

Complimenting this setup, we welcomed the work of Keiken in Metaverse Messenger, a one off XR performance that explored how our communication is adapting due to COVID-19 and how it will change in the future, as audience members were invited to interact in real-time with an avatar from the future in a virtual world. 

Parallel to this programme, we invited each artist and collective to share insights into the research material, processs and theories that informed their practice, in our continuing Artist Spotlight series. 

Joe Cutts
Curator & Head of Arts Programme

Arts Council EnglandSite Gallery

Image Credit: Keiken + George Jasper Stone, Feel My Metaverse, 2019 – Created for Jerwood Collaborate!, supported by Jerwood Arts and Arts Council England.