Rorschach Audio: The Reality of Auditory and Visual Illusions

Lead Research Organisation: Goldsmiths College
Department Name: Sch of Social Sci, Humanities & Language


Rorschach Audio considers the subject of public interest in allegedly supernatural so-called Electronic Voice Phenomena in the light of anecdotal reports and formal experimental studies of
related aspects of auditory perception. Electronic Voice Phenomena are a class of allegedly 'mysterious' vocal recordings, which the majority of EVP researchers believe constitute physical evidence of contact with the afterlife. In other words, EVP researchers believe that it is possible, using various radio and electrical engineering techniques, to record voices of ghosts. Edison and Marconi believed in the possibility that radio might enable contact with the afterlife, and EVP researchers feel that retrospectively ``recruiting'' such eminent scientists lends their research a degree of scientific credibility that others would argue it simply does not deserve. One of many paradoxes of EVP is that enthusiasts also believe their research is 'scientific' because they know that the evidence they present in support of their claims is genuinely real, and because the observations that they report are descriptions of that which they really believe they have experienced.

Drawing on both anecdotal and academic sources, the researcher has amassed a great deal of outstanding material detailing other acoustic illusions, related to those discussed in Rorschach Audio. This material will be included in the documentation of the project.

The project will explore the relationship between auditory and visual illusions in the context of the perception by the viewer/listener of artistic performance and installation.

The project will explore the possibilities of modelling the illusory perception of these phenomena in the musical context, with a view to understanding them and perception in general more fully.


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Related Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Award Value
AH/E005691/1 01/06/2007 01/09/2010 £234,484
AH/E005691/2 Transfer AH/E005691/1 01/09/2010 31/05/2012 £82,952