Marianne Shaneen

The Peekaboo Theory

came home and opened the door, startled at the noise then
remembered I'd left the radio on all day to have a voice to
return home to, to be cradled in the vast network of
electromagnetic waves radiating around and right through me,

especially the cracklings of static: electric discharges
occurring in the air that must have always been taking place
but if not for their interference with music on the radio I
would never be aware of their existence.

Sir Oliver Lodge, the father of radio, believed that the
'other world' was a wavelength into which we pass when we
die. Edison believed he could build a device to contact the
dead and predicted that spirits (he called them the living
) would communicate using the new technology of

Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, mysterious
vocal messages (from the absent, the dead, or manifestations
of the listener's subconscious) communicated over radio or
other signals from across the entire electromagnetic

my apartment is transubstantiating into an internal bodily
plexus, arteries of microphone cables, extension cords and
tuning wires for short wave, ham and CB radios; spawning
TVs, microwaves, baby alarms, nanny cams and tape recorders
--the last thing I do is press the plethora of 'record'
buttons when I leave in the morning.

with the advent of "WiFi", wireless computer networks, I've
joined the subculture of "war drivers" who enter poorly
safeguarded wireless networks while driving or walking
around with laptops and tap into signals being transmitted
via household surveillance cameras. I've been driving by my
own building invading and capturing images of my own
bedroom: not to illicitly broadcast on internet voyeur cams,
but to add to the possible carrier signals over which your
messages might be relayed to me

transporting myself in cabrides all over the city on
meaningless errands in order to hear their radios,
programming random 'wrong numbers' into my cell phone each
night to call throughout the following day, loitering at
walkie-talkie laden lobbies and security desks pretending to
look for non-existent guests and tenants, always with a
hidden tape recorder--
up all night listening to and transcribing what I've
recorded during the day, hoping to hear a word from you...

famed EVP researcher Raymond Cass was engrossed in reading
a History of W.W.I when a voice called his name over the radio

in the 1950's the first EVP recordings were made by a Swede
who found

inexplicable voices on his tape after attempting to record
bird song

an ornithology of war

Hermes winged messenger of the gods, often in bird costume,
also conducted the dead to Hades: message always brought
into an afterlife, death as separation necessary for it to
have to be transmitted in the first place

during W.W.I the 'ghosts' of artillery shells whistling
across battlefields were often heard by German army signals
intelligence operators

one explanation of EVP: the mysterious voices are coded
military broadcasts