Seth R. Abrahamson
MFA ’25 DMI
Confessional is a project that solicited anonymous submission of “something one is haunted by.” However, the call for submissions intentionally opted not to define what it means to be haunted.
The term “haunted” can be used in various ways—perhaps most obviously, it means to be inhabited by a ghost. It can also mean having or showing signs of mental anguish or torment, to be persistently in the mind of someone, to be preoccupied, as with an emotion, memory, or idea; obsessed. To be persistently and disturbingly present in something. We may call a piece of media haunting if it remains in our thoughts because it is very beautiful or sad. One can be haunted by their to-do list as much as by their kept secrets.
Media and technological apparati also become ghosts and then haunt us—becoming misunderstood, or no longer intelligible because they are so far removed from their era of origination.
The objective is to allow an anonymous release of something that haunts submitters, the ghost of something they carry with them. The hope is to create a connection to viewers who may be haunted by some similar thing—perhaps to foster an easing of a particular loneliness, or offer commiseration around shared truths.
By displaying these secrets or confessions on a television, a tool for public broadcast, th work also attempts to speak to commercialization of the private. Television exists to sell advertisement space, to generate revenue, by capitalizing on the emotional.