Milton Torres Sees a Ghost

In this installation, magnetic audio-tape loops between two listening stations. Each listening station is equipped with a reel-to-reel audio player and an oscilloscope that displays a visual representation of the soundtrack. The soundtrack features the account of an American fighter pilot’s encounter with a UFO over British air space in 1957, which was kept secret until the British government released records of the event in 2008. The testimony is edited so that, at times, the man seems to be describing the technology used to image the mysterious aircraft, whilst at other times he could be talking about technology present in the installation itself. As the tape moves around the space, it passes through two decks—one continuously lays the track down while the other erases it. Thus the audience hears the intact soundtrack in one location, while in the other it hears mostly silence interrupted by fragments of sound that failed to disappear. The installation also includes a set of censored and later declassified documents relating to the investigation of Milton Torres’ sighting.

Voice: Milton Torres

Technical director: Jason Torchinsky

Sound design: Michael Webster

Custom electronics and mechanical engineering: Pylon Technical

Story research: Mungo Thomson, Jamie Chan

 

Milton Torres Sees a Ghost, 2010

Installation with audio tape, reel to reel players, oscilloscopes and framed documents, 3:53 minutes

Original running time: 4:45 minutes
Excerpt: N/A