Saturday, July 12, 2014

Isospectral Ghosts

Kristoffer raised the notion of applying isospectrality to spectres: ghosts might have similar effects for different reasons.

We decided what the effect would be:

The ghost smells of fish.

We then each asked a question, answering it in turn and passing the ghost on until we had completed its outline. Having read the outline, we then had to explain the reason for the effect.

The questions were:
1: What is the ghost’s name
2: What did they give birth to
3: What is its colour
4: What did they do most evenings
5: Where did they live
6: What was lost when they died
7: Where did they travel

Janice Hathaway, Kirsty Woods, Kristoffer Flammarion, Merl Fluin, 
Patrick Hourihan, Paul Cowdell, Ruurdje Laarhoven
London, 21 June 2014

The ghost’s name is Cretaceous Object.
The ghost gave birth to an unbelievable long tale that persists to this day.
The ghost was powdery grey in complexion, with many blue/purple/green bruises speckled with red.
Most evenings it knitted with thick rope and small beads and lumps of cork, and tied furniture to carpet with burning sticks.
On a deserted beach did the ghost live.
During its death it lost a rabbit’s foot from their pocket. It was found by a policeman, who ate it.
Before death it travelled to Battersea Dog’s Home.

It smells of fish because it was born in the sea but died & haunted a deserted old house on the beach.

When alive, the ghost’s name was Alvin.
It gave birth to three coral wolves
It is currently of purple hue.
Most evenings it stayed quietly at home and watched sitcoms on the TV.
It lived inside a large red shoebox
A small rope was found plaited like a child's braids.
The ghost travelled on ships at sea before capsizing and dying.

This ghost smelled of fish because, when capsizing in a heavy storm at sea, a whale found the body of the ghost a gourmet desert. Hence the ghost's spirit living in a whale smells of fish.

Silkirk was his name.
He gave birth to lumps of hair and saliva and stones. Perpetually.
The ghost is translucent but with a halo of bright light radiating outwards.
He spent time playing the guitar, but out of tune, while eating stolen bananas, in the evening.
The ghost lived on an island in the middle of a lake full of crocodiles.
He lost a wristwatch of gold.
Before death he travelled into the realm of small mountain buttons fading to grey.

The ghost smelled of fish due to a long soaking in a barrel of sea-water taken from a schooner that sank after a tidal wave struck the island where the ghost lived with two small cats.

The name was Balthus
It gave birth to small multiple piles of rocks spinning skyward
The ghost is the colour of a deer
Most evenings it breathes on windows for hours on end, so little children can gather and draw pictures with their fingers
The ghost lived on a wooden jetty, in a hut made of slats and oilskin windows.
When it died, a bowling ball was lost and never found again.
Before its death it travelled to Ethiopia on a field trip to collect music and beetles.

The ghost smells of fish because a crab had crawled into the bowling ball and died

The ghost’s name when it was alive was Artemis
It gave birth to seven-legged starfish
It was sometimes green but often a leaf
This ghost slept under the stars and moon most evenings
It lives in your left earlobe, like an echo.
Before its death it lost a necklace of teeth, which was found up a tree, and a bracelet of hair, which was lying beside the body
The ghost had, before it died, travelled to the Arctic Circle to watch the northern lights.

The ghost smells of fish because the Pope had just – when the ghost died – resigned in order to smoke burned potassium together with the newly discovered underwater bears.

Her name when she was alive was Judy.
She gave birth to black coal and yellow irises.
She was many shades of black.
Most evenings she gathered round a campfire to toast marshmallows
This ghost lived on an island in the Pacific Ocean
During her death she lost all of their nails. Each particular one was joined/tied to the other by their shoelaces. No body found, no feet or hands.
Before her death she travelled to an island in a coracle made of walnut. It had a sail of skin. She was looking for monks and bees.

The ghost smells of fish because the burning marshmallow twigs have fallen into the island seas, coated with ripped-out nails, and the fish are circling angrily seeking vengeance. So, it isn’t the ghost that smells of fish, it is the smell of the attendant fish.

His name when he was alive was Rabid.
A frog was given birth to.
The ghost is a translucent silvery colour with white fur around its outer limbs.
Most evenings he drank sparkling mineral water
He lived under a small mushroom shaped like a cloud formation
The ghost lost his mantle of deerskin & an iron needle
In the hours preceding his death he travelled on a bus, fell asleep, missed his stop. He awoke to dark and did not know where he ended up.

All the time lost in sleep during bus journeys through graveyards he sweats rabidly due to nightmares, festering frogs and mushrooms in his silvery skin, especially the white fur of his outer limbs. Passing school children dowse him with sparkling water, to no avail, he does not wake, he rots, exuding a smell which is mistaken for fish.

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