Hearing voices

The SV-1 SpiritVox is a mobile application that turns your smartphone into a “Ghost Box“, ‘a hand-held AM/FM radio that is modified to allow continuous scanning of every radio station at a rapid speed. The ghost box allows for tidbits of sound-waves from each station to just barely be heard as it scans through the radio stations. During this scanning, it’s believed that ghosts, or spirits, are able to manipulate the radio frequencies and have their voices heard in real-time.’ Compelling stuff, even if it is of course just another way of separating the credulous from their money (we dare you). As the NeuroLogica Blog points out: ‘What you hear, then, is what you would hear if you had an old radio with an analogue dial and you simply moved the dial quickly up and down the frequencies. You get a mix of static with snippets of speech or music. It is a perfect set up for generating audio pareidolia’.

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Paredolia is one of our favourite things, a perfect benign pyschosis for our age of rampant apophenia. It’s unsurprising that we should seek out pattern and familiarity in the midst of the confusion of everyday life. Audio paredolia is even more intriguing, since it such a self-selecting activity, wherein the analysis and interpretation of the electronic voice phenomenon or the alleged existence of subliminal backmasked messages in popular music (as opposed to intentional messages, most of which were created in response to accusations about non-existant ones). Related, Talkbackwards.com, ‘listen to songs backwards online’.

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Other things. Ghost Box Records is ‘a record label for a group of artists who find inspiration in folklore, vintage electronics, library music and haunted television soundtracks’. See also The Belbury Parish Magazine. There is a delightful design sensibility at work / buy an original, and presumably unique, Shellac Exercise Machine. The Todd Trainer. Or something / choose your own adventure with Rory’s Story Cubes / Wallpaper* magazine’s Handmade Issue 2012 is out / what are some Real life Easter Eggs? / Great Britain: Her natural and industrial resources (at Boston Library’s epic flickr photostream).

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