Rorschach Audio vs. The Green-Eyed Monsters!
Now here’s an artwork I am jealous of – with Rorschach ink-blot illustrations by Bryan Louie, video directed by Robert Hales – superb!
Suffice to say I’ve had much more important things to focus on in the last 5 years, predictably however, as soon as the “Rorschach Audio” book came out, it was Groundhog Day in terms of green-eyed monsters and their ill-informed gossip about “Rorschach Audio” (in fact, exactly the same gossip that the same individuals came out with some years ago). Oh, the joy of small ponds! It goes without saying that a project that applies genuinely critical analysis to a cherished belief, a belief that domestic appliances try to engage us in conversation (!) is going to attract hostility from people who are (how to put this politely)… eccentric… and not always eccentric in the most charming of ways, so readers should interpret any comments they find on-line in that light. Nonetheless, in the vain hope the following might encourage gossips and trolls to get some perspective, my response is…
As regards the issue of whether the factual claims made by EVP and ghost-voice researchers are actually true or not, particularly in relation to the question of exploiting the bereaved, arguably the motives of EVP artists who prefer to remain neutral or to not express an opinion about this, are even more questionable than those who openly support EVP (at least the EVP supporters are being honest). Rather than taking the opportunity to engage with any of Rorschach Audio’s substantive criticisms however, some individuals prefer to suggest that I criticise these artists because I’m jealous of their success. To set the record straight, I happily admit to having participated in a culture of healthy (intellectual and professional) competition among sound artists, and to being jealous of artists like Martin Creed (whose success I honestly believe is undeserved), but (even though I work very hard on my projects) I respect artists who’ve done well because they too work hard – there are plenty of them, and this book criticises no-one for being successful (it only criticises people for talking nonsense). The paradox is that if anything, far from being jealous, if only for practical reasons I am in fact grateful to those artists whose attitude to EVP has delivered way and ahead the most lucrative project I’ve ever undertaken. One extra point, that wasn’t made in the “Rorschach Audio” book, is that an alleged manipulation of audio recordings to create false hope that a dead person might have still been alive, was considered so unethical as to have made world-wide news and forced the closure of a national newspaper. Think about it.
The “Rorschach Audio” project’s criticisms of sound artists who try to dupe the public about the deceased have been made openly over a long period, and, after years of working on “Rorschach Audio” for near zero personal gain, this project attracted considerable institutional support, because of, not despite, that track record. It was arguably because of, not despite, the fact that this book is going to be unpopular, in certain circles, that this project was deemed worthy of that level of support! As regards one specific critic, the accusation of jealousy is a classic example of negative projection – in other words, perhaps it’s you, as a music journalist and magazine editor, who is in fact jealous of this project’s success (sorry you didn’t get the editorial gig on the book). In addition to the gracious attentions of our green-eyed friends, the bottom line is that “Rorschach Audio” challenges fraudulent research that’s championed by dozens of musicians, artists and parapsychologists, so it’s inevitable some of them are going to try to get their own back, particularly by posting stupid comments about this book on-line.