Hauntology, the Future, the Eerie: Justin Barton, with Farmers of Vega, Mark Fisher and Dalia Neis

Tuesday 16 June 2015, 6.30–8.30pm

Free, places allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so please arrive promptly to avoid disappointment

An event and discussion to mark the publication of Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future by Justin Barton (published by Zero Books, London, 2015).

Hauntology in this context can initially be defined as an engagement with a place or area through the fictions that have emerged from it; through the dreams and myth-systems overall of those for whom it has been a ‘haunt’; and through a process of giving sustained attention to the ‘anomalous’ – whether the eerie, the gothic, the sublime, or the strikingly singular – in the dreamings from the area, and (in whatever sense) in the area itself, both present and past.

However, this definition leaves out the futural dimension of hauntology – a dimension which fundamentally concerns the future in an intensive sense (the Future), rather than it being chronological in accordance with the prevailing way of constructing the yet-to-come of time. This dimension consists of the escape-lines of terrains and thresholds of existence at higher and higher levels of intensity, rather than the lines of the dead repetitions of the less-active side of the world, the projections of which make up the main aspects of the ‘chronic’ image of futural time.

At this event Justin Barton will talk about the north of Wales and the northwest of England – the area which he has called ‘the eerie northwest’ – so as to exemplify hauntology, and in particular so as to exemplify it in its relation to the future. Barton’s account of the area will be centred on its pop-rock music and its fictions, and it will be preceded by music made specially for the event by Farmers of Vega, and readings by Mark Fisher and Dalia Neis. The event will conclude with an open discussion about hauntology.

Attendees may be interested to read two sections of Barton’s 'Explorations of the Abstract' blog in advance of the event. Section 6 is about the northwest (and will be the basis for Barton’s talk) while Section 11 exemplifies hauntology in relation to a different area.

Hidden Valleys: Haunted by the Future starts from the perception that the human world is an eerie place, particularly in relation to its stories and dreams. It also starts from events that took place in North Yorkshire, in 1978. A work of philosophy, an account of experiences, and a biography of a year, it is simultaneously a challenging cultural analysis, drawing on novels, songs and films.


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