alpha bravo

From WW1 to the present day spies who are embedded in enemy territory use a specific spy code to communicate with allies and home base.  These are called number stations on short wave radio and are used by most developed countries, although are often denied by authorities when directly asked.  This audio code of voices, blips, beeps and music convey enemy locations and activities in foreign countries.  This code is very hard to track and decipher, much like the Enigma machines, also used during the war. It is an abbreviated form of human communication much like an audio short hand.  It requires a sender and receiver, both of which must know the primmer of the code.  It challenges the idea of what communication is and how we adapt our language to suit the needs of our circumstance.  If you look at current day codified communication, there are many examples of modern language and code being used including:  java code, html, pure data, and programming languages, etc.


This mysterious code stands in for the body in its location buried in enemy territory, so is the only indication of human presence.  The native tongue used to communicate is the only indication of home base and nationality.  This spy code becomes a truly, albeit secret, universal language.



Single channel video with audio, projector, two audio speakers, 8' white balloon.

© 2008



2008 Votes For Sleepwalkers, VIVO Media Arts Centre, Vancouver (catalogue)