Ghosts in the Machine

Ghost in the Machine: The Inquest of Mary Gallagher, 15min34 loop.
Three-channel anamorphic video & locative sound installation, with 1-foot diameter mirrored cylinders placed in the centre of each 12-foot diameter video projection.

Centaur Rehearsal Space

Documentation video

Ghosts in the Machine: The Inquest of Mary Gallagher was a site-specific installation that exhibited in Griffintown, Montreal in June 2011. An MA research project, which culminated in the development of “anamorphic cinema,” Ghosts consisted of three distinct video sequences featuring distortions that re-formed in the reflections of mirrored cylinders – a computational adaption of catoptric anamorphosis created after diagrammatic instructions found in 17th-century drawing treatises. Ghosts’ multilayered narrative featured archival imagery and actors reenacting the inquest of a notorious 1879 murder, which resulted in the conviction of one working class Irish woman for the murder, decapitation, and dismemberment of another (a literal separation of mind and body). It exhibited where the original inquest took place—an old police station since renovated for use as the workshop and rehearsal space of Centaur Theatre. Ghosts was part of Urban Occupations, a series of artistic interventions in Griffintown, a downtown Montreal neighbourhood undergoing significant redevelopment and gentrification. Gallagher symbolizes the abject and the forgotten, and contemporaneous accounts of her murder exemplify late nineteenth-century discourses on gender, class, race, and criminal insanity.

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Urban Occupations, Centaur Theatre workshop & rehearsal space, Montreal, June 2011
Irish Studies Conference exhibition, FOFA Gallery, Montreal,  July 2011
Archives and the City (maquette only), FOFA Gallery, Montreal,Oct-Nov 2012


Alison Loader, “The Anamorphic Cinema.” Animation Practice, Process and Production Journal, 1(2), 2011
Karen Herland. “Ghosts of Griffintown.” Concordia Journal. 30 May 2011.


Deena Aziz, Diana Fajrajsl, Dean Fleming, Alexandria Haber, Tristan D. Lalla , Julie Tamiko Manning


Shauna Janssen, Curating & Production Management
Micheline Chevrier, Voice Direction
Jason Lee, Cinematography
Lachlan Fletcher, Sound Recording

Equipment and locations suppliers

Centaur Theatre, Concordia University Centre for Digital Arts (CDA), Center for Ethnographic Research & Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence (CEREV), Department of Communication Studies, Faculty of Fine Arts Core Technical Centres, FOFA Gallery, Lab 6.5, Hexagram Concordia, Héritage Montréal (Anna Nixon, Jean-Yves Bourdages)