CONFERENCE PROGRAMME: SPECTRUM conference, OPEN-WAVES presentations & WAVES/LIGHT workshops

16.20  Joe Banks. RORSCHACH AUDIO
"Rorschach Audio" considers research into allegedly supernatural Electronic Voice Phenomena in the light of anecdotal reports and experimental studies of related aspects of auditory perception. "Rorschach Audio" argues that credulous interpretations of EVP (which are commonplace in contemporary art) are at best examples of willful self-delusion, at worst examples of outright fraud. "Rorschach Audio" offers the primary hypothesis that an understanding of the relevant aspects of psychoacoustics provides a complete explanation for most EVP recordings, and a secondary hypothesis that an informed understanding of these processes is as important to understanding the emergent field of sound art as studies of optical illusions have historically been to understanding visual art. "Rorschach Audio" argues for improved public understanding of scientific psychology, and for improved understanding of the relevance of scientific methodology to the practice of contemporary fine art.
Earlier versions of "Rorschach Audio" have been published by PARC / Ash International in 1999, by The Sonic Arts Network in 2000, by The MIT Press in 2001, and by Strange Attractor Journal in 2004. "Rorschach Audio" presentations have been given at MUU (Helsinki), The Royal Society of British Sculptors (London), Q Arts (Derby), Fabrica (Brighton), Hull Time Based Arts, UKISC Sound Practice (Dartington), The Foundry (London), FACT (Liverpool), Goldsmiths University (London), The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Beursschouwburg (Brussels).

Joe Banks / Disinformation (UK). Disinformation is a research, installation and sound art project, active since 1995, which pioneered the use of electromagnetic (radio) noise from live mains electricity, lightning, laboratory equipment, trains, industrial and IT hardware, magnetic storms and the sun etc, as the raw material of musical and fine-art publications, exhibits and events. Sci-Fi author Jeff Noon wrote in The Independent that "people are fascinated by this work", and The Guardian commented "Disinformation combine scientific nous with poetic lyricism to create some of the most beautiful installations around". Disinformation artworks have been the subject of 8 UK solo exhibitions, and have been seen by nearly 100,000 people. The name "Disinformation" is used in the spirit of what Wittgenstein referred to as "The Liar's Paradox", however "Rorschach Audio" a research project conducted by Disinformation's main author has been peer-reviewed by leading academics and published by (amongst others) The MIT Press.

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