The Skull Cult

Since the discovery of a hidden trench dwelling dug into the hillside behind an electronic appliance dump in a small town in Massachusetts, reports are emerging of the discovery of more underground chambers connected with the disappearance of Gerardo Fischer. It is thought that Fischer ran one, or more, archaeological projects in conjunction with the productions of his theatre company. The latest hidden chamber to be discovered lies close to the remains recently unearthed at Göbekli Tepi, in southern Turkey, that indicate the presence of a Neolithic skull cult.

There is no apparent indication of any connection between the Fischer chamber and the Göbekli Tepi archaeologists; other than coincidence, and Fischer’s known fascination with etched glass skulls. Amira Hamade, founder of the Iranian theatre group Gulmohar, is known to have worked with Gerardo Fischer on a production called The Flame Trees in a cave complex near Göbekli Tepi after she chose exile in Turkey following the Khomeini revolution in Iran.

Amira Hamade is convinced that these recently discovered skull remains are evidence of a force that resides in a deeper plane of being that links up author-nodes across continents via a spiderlike network in the collective unconscious. It was her daughter who discovered the cave chamber where Gerardo Fischer appears to have conducted his own archaeological research in this zone in southern Turkey.

The Kathryn Imbroglio

This footage depicts a camera infected by what it sees. The canister is labeled “Kino-Diablo” and has been in LS storage for some time, burning its way through storage level after level and into the sub-basements. Information is, or sometimes is, or sometimes can be a virus, and in this case the virus infected the apparatus (the term for cameras and camera equipment preferred by the Althusserian-Marxist theorists who discovered this film) so quickly that whatever aura it had most swiftly and notably (from a documentary perspective) melted not only the film and the camera, but the camera-woman herself.

*To hold a copy of The Bulletin of Lost Signals #1, please be advised of these procedures.

Hippie Compound

When Lost Signals receives a tip about potential archival material in a remote location we generally send a small team out to scout the area, document the site, and collect samples to determine if full excavation is desirable. Such was the case earlier this summer when we were told of an abandoned hippie compound in southwest Illinois that supposedly housed old automobiles into whose seats had been sewn dollar bills with serial numbers that served as longitude and latitude coordinates. These coordinates, strangely, reflect the previous locations of the Lost Signals stations, beginning with the first one in 1838 and continuing with subsequent ones, after a series of arson fires destroyed them. (More information about the troubled and violent history of LS will be available in the Bulletin of Lost Signals, #1.)

Here is a short clip from the team’s arrival at the abandoned hippie compound, the first of thirteen barns on the 26-acre property, each housing broken down old cars with those dollar bills sewn into their seats.

 

 

Fragmentary Elegy for Ricardo Piglia

The Museum of the Novel in Buenos Aires – that was once housed above a boxing gym on the Avenida Rivadavia – disappeared this year not long after the great novelist Ricardo Piglia passed away. The museum was the site of intersecting plotlines and home to the automaton created by Macedonio Fernandez to contain the memories and spirit of his wife Elena. The automaton outlived her husband and became the source of hundreds of stories that escaped from the white nodes of language hidden in her circuitry. A number of nodes – no one knows how many – unknotted during the clandestine removal process, and caused power surges along the fibre optics of the new broadband infrastructure in the tunnels beneath the Argentine capital. Subliminal pulsations of light, that flash via the screens of international video calls, have caused stories to jump across continents in fragments, and to emerge as automatic writing on the mobile phones of sensitives as far away as Mongolia and Australia. It appears that the automaton Elena may be composing and transmitting a vast elegy for Ricardo Piglia, who did so much to preserve her immortality. Programmers from the Far South Project are working to reconstitute the complete text, but they are unsure that it will ever be possible, or even if Elena intends it to be. —David Enrique Spellman

 

 

Inserts

While, as a matter of principle, those of us who remain at Lost Signals after the purge favor incoherence, we have our limits. When our headquarters moved–in 1959–from Palm Springs to our current location in the American Midwest, we did so primarily because the atmosphere was clearer out here, signal wise, and rickety equipment (which consisted of three “instant-on” Hoffman TransSolar radios, two Zenith Royal 50s, an Emerson 911, a Westinghouse H732P7, and a few vacuum tube farm radios) lasted longer, especially the filaments.

Why bring all this up? Well back then lost (they were called “stray” for some time) signals were few and far between, conspicuously so, and the choice of whether to archive or not was simple: archive everything. Recently, however, we receive and capture so many lost signals that narrative creep has set in. That is, we find ourselves scrutinizing the signals for meaning and, as is often the case, when no meaning can be found or imposed, we throw up our arms (those of us who are still limbful) in frustration, and and move on to the next signal.

But on occasion we make exceptions, case in point being this, which we received in 2014 and are now archiving, with no interpretive notes or finding aids, in the spirit of the old Lost Signals, prior to the tyranny of interpretation.

Residential Depopulation Atlas

The Residential Depopulation Atlas (mis-titled The Residential Population Atlas), published in 1966 by MIT Press, was one of many such reverse-Great Society works projects, different from each other in kind only. Although the term “planned shrinkage” was used ten years later by Roger Starr in connection with New York City’s mid-1970s (also planned) financial crisis, residential depopulation, much like the “deep state,” was a concept that left no record, that had no author. Unattributable until the publication of the MIT atlas the term had, by that time, been de-fanged and rendered as something barely worthy of academic study. Lost Signals acquired, via broadcast, four minutes of video, documenting the atlas until the recording is ended, violently, in a flood of red light. This clip is from the two-minute mark. —S. Martinez

The Surveillance Chamber

While searching for Gerardo Fischer, I came across a trench dwelling dug into a wooded hillside above a small town dump in Western Massachusetts. I thought the equipment obsolete and long since defunct. The moment I crossed the dark threshold a reel-to-reel tape clicked into life, and among the screens that I assumed were dead, three tubes flickered into silent life, monitors for cameras that I would fail to find, transmitting, as they were, from an unknowable source, a stream of images antic and alien. —David Enrique Spellman