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Asa Horvitz: Ghost

GHOST is Asa Horvitz’ ever-evolving paean to mourning. Starting from a personal point of the loss of many loved ones, Horvitz has turned the individualized concept of 21st-century grieving inside and out. Sifting through archives of family photos and philosophical and spiritual texts on death and mourning, and working with a host of collaborators from musicians to software engineers, Horvitz developed methods to live with the permanent presence of the past and the feeling that we take the dead with us on our journeys. GHOST is the way Horvitz gives his grief - and the grief of others - the space it needs to change, expand and flow.

GHOST (web version)

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GHOST (AI interface)

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Some word, some gesture, some sound: A Ghost Story

Asa Horvitz   
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With Alejandro Calcaño, Horvitz gathered 151 texts - notes and letters, philosophy old and new, classic literature and science fiction novels. These texts were fed as a training dataset to a custom AI language model created by Seraphina Goldfarb-Tarrant, which spits out texts that are at once profound, moving - and meaningless.

Some of the output of this AI became the lyrics for a series of music-based choreographic performances in Antwerp and New York, Vienna, Utrecht and Amsterdam. These performances in turn led to a record that Horvitz made with Carmen Q. Rothwell, Ariadne Randall, Bryan West, and later his uncle Wayne Horvitz.

Each performance was a way to share in a collective grief, another tendril of a climbing vine growing towards the sun. With each new tendril, GHOST has become ever more open to others, decoupled from Horvitz’ personal experience, which becomes a guide and a point of connection rather than something for us to watch from a distance.

And now, the accumulation of ideas and modes of loss and mourning has a new dimension: a digital version of GHOST on The Couch. By following the links on this page, you can listen to the profound music that has come out of this process, play with the AI interface in the hopes of catching a spark of inspiration, read an essay by Horvitz and an interview with him by Leendert Sonnevelt. Think, move slowly. Spend some time with the dead. You are welcome here.

We hope you enjoy.

- Curators Orpheu de Jong and Maia Kenney


'When you mourn, everything is included'

Leendert Sonnevelt    Françoise Bolechowski   

Asa Horvitz unearths the many layers of GHOST: his poignant performance project on death and its presence among the living.

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GHOST: Credits

Asa Horvitz   

Credits for Asa Horvitz' GHOST

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