My final paper is related to my intended thesis for anthropology. I am interested in interrogating a body of reality television obsessed with ghost hunting. In the shows, a team of investigators attempt to unlock the secrets of the dead USING the KEYS of modern science and technology. The team investigates haunted sites across the US and beyond looking for clues in the ambient present. They operate under the assumption that there is a latent power source surrounding us and penetrating us at all times, a virtual noise that ghosts use to manifest. The team uses scientific apparatuses to measure anomalies and fluctuations in this energy source or magnetic field. They also perform, provoke and reanimate a speculative historical archive in a desperate attempt to be touched by the past. I want to interrogate their empirical investigation that seeks to meter something that is otherwise abject. If so much evidence has gathered I am interested in why seeing is no longer believing? As the team tends to the noise of the past and this abject spiritual dimension I want to examine how they propagate their own noise. How is this tending to noise related to tending to trauma? How does this noise reflect a paranoia and anxiety towards modern communication technologies, unknown information in the air waves as well as a longing faith in the felt, abject and unknown that is otherwise denied by desires for transparency and technophilia?
I intend to use Anna Tsing's Friction her discussion of haunting etc.
Lauren Berlant's discussion of ambient citizenship and tending to trauma