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Arwina Afsharnejad and
Daria Kozlova

Specters of Jin

Specters of Jin started as a sonic exploration of revolutions' melodies and sprang from our interest in queer-feminist counter-analysis to hauntological concepts of time and identity within antiauthoritarian struggles. Hauntology as introduced by Jacques Derrida in Specters of Marx was used to describe the phenomenon of the apparent "death" of communism, and how capitalist powers that were responsible for its demise inadvertently immortalized the idea of communism by making it a specter that cannot die. Derrida posits that the spectre's presence signifies a disjunction in time, suggesting that „time is disarticulated, dislocated, and deranged, both out of order and mad“. It is important to note that the spectre is not merely a relic of the past, but also holds the potential to embody a spirit of the "future-to-come" (Munford, 2014). Later Mark Fisher furthers his theories on the meaning of hauntology and the cancellation of the future by applying these concepts to various media with a particular focus on music.

To explore haunted aurality, we have been experimenting with real-time spectral sound processing – a framework based on three algorithms: spectral analysis (converting a signal from the time domain to a representation in the frequency domain), spectral synthesis (vice versa), and fast Fourier transform (FFT) that drives both of them. We collected and synthesized field recordings from protests and used these tools to echo the non-linear feminist temporality of the women- and girls-led movement in Iran. For a spectral effect to operate in real-time, the analysis and resynthesis described above must happen around 200 times every second, overlaying the voices of the protestors and their allies worldwide. This seems to create a haunted choral sonority that functions as an instrument for making the ghosts of the past perceptible, repurposing narratives of the past for and in the present. The sound has a crystalline quality, with concealed attacks and decays, and lacks overtones, producing a kind of tonal purity and tending towards the static. Recalcitrant spirits distorted from violence soar above the rift between changes brought about by revolution and an unbearable present. A feminist ghost mechanic for re-imagining history enables the means through which hidden pasts of the oppressed and their collective struggles can be brought into the light of the present, and alternate times may be envisioned and created. Ethereal sounds give the idea of another world and serve as an invitation to listen more closely.

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