The Ghosts of Senate House is one part of a creative research project led by Sarah Sparkes. It serves as an archive for uncanny, apocryphal stories emanating from Senate House. These stories formed part of "a Magical library for the 21st Century" an archive of writings, recordings, artwork, artefacts, and other contributions, which was first shown at the University of London as part of The Bloomsbury Festival October 2011.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Recording a spirit

Output Arts have recently been considering ghost stories, how they relate to a sense of place and why people look for ghosts. As an artistic collective, we make audiovisual installations specifically for non-gallery venues that link in some way to the space in which they are shown. Thus, the theme of the Ghosts of Senate House project particularly interested us in its focus on a particular place.

Much of our interest lies in the recording aspect of ghost hunting: the setting-up of equipment in the hope of "capturing" a ghost on tape. There is a strong desire to prove the presence of something that is really about absence; the absence of someone who was once alive and present in that space. Recording interests us as our work largely involves recording audio to compose into pieces that provoke consideration of an idea. In a sense, all recordings are ghosts - reflections of something or someone that was in that place at that moment.

For the Ghosts of Senate House project we have been particularly considering the sense of place and how a place can have a character or feeling. We hope to record this "spirit of place" in audio form for a number of different spaces in Senate House that relate to hauntings and turn these into audio sculptures that will allow the listener to consider the character of sound and how this can evoke a particular feeling.

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