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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. This essay examines the effects of image and sound manipulation in Martin Arnold’s 2002 installation, Deanimated. Austrian experimental filmmaker Arnold has digitally reworked a B-horror movie starring Bela Lugosi, Joseph Lewis’s The Invisible Ghost (1941). Taking the horror movie’s title literally, Arnold has excised, in a gradual fashion, all of the characters in the original narrative from the film’s images, as well as their dialogue and the sounds of their actions. The viewers of Deanimated are left to contemplate the interior of the house that is The Invisible Ghost’s main setting, rooms that are to a palpable degree haunted by the suppressed narrative and the not quite vanished presences of those who had enacted it. The essay explores the logic of this “remnant” scenario of mourning and how it reasserts themes from the host narrative in a different key. The Invisible Ghost gains both fresh dimension and pathos from the slow ravaging of its contents.

Keywords: Joseph Lewis, Lugosi, portraits, hauntings, Massey, Ranciere, windows

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