The Ghost And The Inertia Of The Real


This graveyard of disuesed aircraft in the Mojave desert can be described as the underside of the dynamic processes of the world, the dead waste of the world today.

“We shouldn’t react to waste by trying to get rid of it (…) but accept that there are things out there that serve nothing, to break out of the eternal cycle of functioning.”

Slavoj Zizek

Walter Benjamin said that we experience history not when we are engaged in dynamic processes of change but when we see the rest, the waste of our culture being retaken by nature. At this point we get an intuition of what history means.

Maybe this accounts for the redemptive value of apocalyptic movies. When we see the remainders of our society, broken infrastructure, looted stores, disused factories, this inertia of the real, a mute presence. Gazing these ghosts is an authentic passive experience. Without this moment of passive inertia nothing new can emerge. Something new only emerges through the suspension of proper functioning of the object. The ghost, the artefact, through its suspended inertia, this stasis of dead rest, is the force that causes change (the new city can only be built on the dead city).

The ghost is suspended where the sacred and the obscene overlap – the obscenity the usefulness of the object engaged in reality and the sacredness of the display.

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