Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

5 - Of Haunted Spaces: An Essay Film on Ghost Cities

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

The new Chinese ghost cities built for millions but lived-in by no one, is a unique urban phenomenon, resulting from excessive global urbanization. The research is to investigate the contemporary urban space through the effect of global distribution and circulation of social and economic capital and to realize our living conditions are haunted by such a collective phantasm. The ghost cities are turned into a void, exhausted and empty ruins of anachronistic non-sites where histories are to be forgotten. The complexity woven among the investigation can be best realized through the film to tell the untold story in finding the intertextual significance of experimenting a new cinematic poetics, that crosses over different genres. A straightforward documentary cannot be sufficed, and a combination of acting, reenactments and found footages in between the real and the performative is demanded to show the social spectacle in reflexive mode. Departing from authenticity, identification, and empathy in favor of experiment, staging, and artificiality of the subject, the poetics of cinema are devised as the meta-critique in bringing together image and the real world in one entity. The film-making becomes an instrument of organic interpretation, transforming empirical findings into the political subject of the globe. The uniqueness and novelty in this artistic research is to fabricate a discursive space by bridging between art and knowledge—this will require interrogation, method, and reference—bring about a narrative which combines the documentary with the performative, and acting with acting-out to create the link that is usually missing in the visible worlds.

Ella Raidel

Art University Linz, Austria


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5 - Of Haunted Spaces: An Essay Film on Ghost Cities

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