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Article Title

Documentary Ghosts

Abstract

This paper explores how they documents provide evidence, particularly in anomalous cases, where the evidence is specious. I suggest that it is fruitful to consider such cases with the metaphor of ghosts, as ghosts suggest a breakdown in our everyday understandings of the link between life and death. I describe three types of ghosts and consequently three types of documentary ghosts. Documentary Ghost 1 is a document whose object no longer exists; Documentary Ghost 2 is a document that seems to evince one object, but upon scrutiny it evinces something else; and Documentary Ghost 3 is a document that seems to evince an object, but this object doesn’t exist. As illustration, I provide an example of each type of documentary ghost from the domain of public art in Philadelphia. The concept of documentary ghosts, and the typology developed here, help us to understand breakdowns in the evidentiary link between documents and their objects.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.35492/docam/7/1/1

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