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In a global dataverse now measured in zettabytes, we are all ghosts adrift in unfathomable seas of information. Conversely, in this sixth extinction well underway, we find ourselves surrounded by the ghosts of unnumbered and unknowable species erased every hour. Through a practice of recombinatory poetics (remixing, self-sampling, and mashing in different media) I explore what it might mean to be both a haunt as well as the haunted. For me recalling the past while imagining the future creates a kind of feedback loop, to the point where such polarities can seem to switch places: one recalls a future, invents a past. My dabblings involve conjuring imaginal bridges, conduits, and portals; designing nets, sieves, and traps; and channeling eutopian as well as post-collapse fabulisms.


Derek Owens is professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at St. John’s University, New York (US). He is the author of Memory’s Wake and several books on composition pedagogy; information on his art, writing, and teaching can be found at  https://www.derekowens.net