Monday, 16 August 2010

"the past futures of science fiction, of Futurism, of architecture and design, of science proper"

Our own Giovanni Tiso with a wonderfully thoughtful post about this very site. As part of his research, Giovanni asked me why I set up the site. I sent him a brief email explaining my thinking, which may be of interest to readers.

    For some time, I've wanted to start a collective blog for finds from secondhand shops, charity shop and carboot sales, but for whatever reason I never got round to it. Then I found the two Alan Garner books, The Owl Service and Red Shift, in secondhand shops in the town where I live (we're fortunate to have two excellent used book shops here). There was a pleasing symmetry in that both these "found objects" were themselves about found objects - the novels revolves around a dinner service discovered in an attic and a spearhead dug from ground in Cheshire. Garner's novels recall the move made by M R James and Lovecraft in so many of their tales, and by Nigel Kneale in Quatermass and the Pit, in that the central idea is of disinterring an anachronistic object which can't be assimilated into the present, and which draws those in its thrall into terrible repetitions. The phrase "not really now not any more" that's central to Red Shift seemed to capture so much of what is going with hauntology. So I set up the blog, and broadened the remit to cover found virtual objects too, and made a few posts, not linking to it or publicising it, and not sure what I would do with it. I can't remember what made me reactivate the site - it may have been something to do with the incredibly positive experience of doing Minus The Shooting. Then I gradually started to ask people if they would like to join the team, and thankfully many did. It's been great just sitting back and watching people take it in their own directions. One wonderful phenomenon is the ripple effect you sometimes get, where one post will trigger a series of related posts (cf the strange rash of biker-related posts!)

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