The Radio Ghost 

I described how a laser and a bit of broken glass can lead to unexpected phantoms to get artistic with, but that's not the only way they can appear. Most aren't very convincing, after all if we're very tired, or ingesting funny substances, we can see faces in clouds or wood chip wallpaper if we're so minded. These are best ignored for obvious reasons, but it's a tad different if the thing stands up to cold analysis and photography.

I bought a small radio from Maplin Electronics that tuned the VHF band with two tiny buttons and an auto-search. It was fragile though, and I broke it. I bought another so I could adapt it to a form less fragile, because I liked how it worked. I never finished the job, it was too much like hard work, but I got some mileage out of it...

The original circuit, photocopied for transcription.

A rough draft of the tracks, with component details.

The Ghost, emerging from some ectoplasmic nonsense.

Not for a moment do I assume any special reason for such appearances, or interpret them in any way, though I have to wonder at how strongly this one resembles a picture given to me by a girl called Jo, a black and white image of the face of Chief Sitting Bull that I had on the back of a door for several years.

I don't have the original artwork from this session, because a strange event happened. I decided to put it on eBay. A friend of mine shill-bid it. It was a joke idea, but some guy outbid him and it went to over a hundred pounds (UKP). My friend bid again, and the auction closed. I paid the fees, and felt like an idiot, and destroyed the originals because it felt like just punishment. The guy who originally bid later contacted me having missed the auction, he said he'd be willing to buy anyway, if I still had it. I hadn't, and the closest thing to truth I could tell him was that I no longer had it, that someone else had won it in the auction.

I still had the images I used on the auction, so I post these here, not least because the extra story is worth the telling. I still have some broken parts of the first radio, (I destroyed the second along with the original artwork), and I still have one paper copy of the original tracing with red ink, because I often make multiples and this one survived unfound till recently. With some effort, especially if I can find another of those radios, I can remake the original work, including the parts list and photocopy of its board, which are now gone. If I got some offer I could not refuse, I will definitely have at it.

As with the mutilated melon image the BBC took a fancy to, I have no way to see what if any value others place on my work, not least because this site is likely the only way anyone will know it exists at all. All I can say to end is: if someone reading this wants it, perhaps for a Radiohead CD cover that pays me stonking great royalties, it's theirs if they can convince me to sell, and that if this actually happens, they will get exclusive rights to it, along with all paper copies of anything I have, or remake for them. My registered domain is set for privacy, but it's not hard to get past that if you're determined and know how. This will weed out those who don't really want this, and I'm considering making the record public anyway. This is not a hard sell, I didn't expect it to sell the first time, but I might as well sit like an angler with a hook in the water, and let other people see what led to the 'effort', and there's something real here, not just a hook. I'm not sure if the maker of the original radio circuit would claim copyright in any publishing based on this design in this context, but I imagine the likes of people publishing stuff for famous bands have ways to negotiate that stuff better than I do. The original maker might even like the publicity.