This essay argues that ghostwriting is a collective material practice that intervenes in the logic of the information political economy, which has commodified intellectual work as intellectual property. In everyday use, ghostwriting is when a text is written by an unnamed author and usually for the purposes of marketing. In this essay I retool ghostwriting as a critical and creative writing practice. It may be a strategy to resist the administrative and corporate attempts to interfere with academic intellectual property rights. It turns intellectual work that little bit more subversive. First I reflect on the relation between writing and the commons of knowledge. I then perform ghostwriting as an experimental practice that can put different fields into dialogue, and which use intellectual culture as common property. I quote the first and last sentence of 20 books that begin by reflecting on ideas about ghosts; but more broadly reflect on critical theory, practice, and architecture in the time of the Anthropocene. Texts are adjusted so that they talk to one another and through one another. I problematize authorship while allowing the shadow of the original authorial voice to remain. What is important is that ghostwriting frees the creative process from the private property of the knowledge industry. Ghostwriting is collective. It treats the commons of knowledge as the collective memory of intellectual culture. I argue that ghostwriting can articulate a different type of knowledge practice as a collective mode of authorship without aura.
|Accepted/In press - 20 Apr 2022