Are You There

 

Single channel w/ 7 min 45 sec looped video and 23 min 15 sec audio track

Are You There is a documentary project that follows the New York Seekers Club of the Paranormal, a group of ghost hunters based in Queens, NY. At the outset of the project I was interested in drawing parallels between the popularity of paranormal reality television shows in the 21st century and the phenomena of spirit photography in the 19th century; of particular interest was the way in which dealing with the paranormal can engender an awareness of the relationship between belief, desire, and the represented image. But in the process of making the work, I discovered an affinity between my desire to document people and places, and the ghost hunters’ belief in documenting signals from the other side. Consequently, I reframed the project so that it focused on the ghost hunters motivations and cosmological outlooks. The end product is a looped video that is paired with one of three interviews, and is meant to run continuously. Each interview hinges on the idea of possession, and follows the ghost hunting group as they explore the Castle at Fort Totten, home to the Bayside Historical Society. A version of the video can be viewed here