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Another form of communicating to your past
or to people from the past is through a method
of recording Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVPs).
Distorted voices will appear
as the radio automatically
sweeps through the channel.
It’s said that in this method,
the spirit can borrow the voices of the living
and choose to remit whatever phrase they’d like to echo back to you.
What fascinates me most about ghost hunting culture
is that it's just another way of understanding the past.
By going to a specific place,
you’re looking to hear and interpret your surroundings
not just in linear timing - as in not just in the present.
When trying to capture evidence of spirits,
you’re expanding your understanding of a place
in both the past and the present.
It may be physically impossible for me now
to speak to members of my family that have long passed,
but what if there is a way outside of linear time?
If my body can be mapped several generations back,
and I use my vocal cords to extend my voice out into empty space,
I wonder how the dead will experience it.
Thinking about the many people online who go on escapades
to capture evidence of spirits,
one common form of recording is EVP - known as electronic voice phenomena.
It’s a method of recording empty space,
and detecting a voice through the static.
Some might call it a hallucination,
but I find that it’s just another way
of forming your own understanding of a setting and place.
Somewhere from sometime
that had its own memories of the people
and emotions that ran through it.
I’d like to think that if I did extend my voice out into space,
on this map that was so expansive it would take days for me
to reach all the names of my family
- someone would echo back their presence to me.
Even reading out the names of people I’ve never met and heard,
short accounts of their lives paraphrased into a tiny frame
reconfirms their existence in the present.
Imagine several hundreds of years from now,
when all of the people who know your name
and carry their memory of you with them are long gone,
and you’re able to hear your name again in a distant future.
How surreal would that feel?
Lina Chang’s ‘When a trace becomes a line’ is the first project within Kleió’s residency programme. To send an artist residency application, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.