NOTES: Dokument Two is a folded booklet between A4-A5 size, that came with the second LP Leichenschrei

SPK - Dokument II.

The second in the series to update on progress and projekts.

We have begun working on the second album : Leichenschrei, due for release from the UK in April, 82. This will be the final produkt, as we originally intended. However, there will be a movement into video and film, beginning with L'Etat Haemophiliaque (Internal Bleeding) which is in progress and will have its first screening in Australia later this year. SPK will then specialise in soundtrack, a medium we have always had a strong sympathy with.

In response to the considerable interest shown in our projekt so far, we have decided to devote a Dokument to an explanation of some of the areas of research into sound and visuals which we have used. Subliminal content in lyriks and voice tapes occupies much of our attention. However it requires feedback from others in order to evaluate their effectiveness. That is why we always encourage correspondence, even though various members of the group prefer to remain anonymous (as far as possible). In addition, we try to provide some interesting information on experiments into mental phenomena, and to dispel some of the boring myths about infra/ultra-sonics.

We have often been asked the reason for apparently limiting ourselves to the mental sphere. The answer is that we feel the need to intensify interest in the SPECIFIC locus of consent to be repressed in the individual. We therefore claim to be "politikal", but not in the accepted sense of the term.

In 1982 SPK will abandon its earlier practice of limited publik appearances, with scheduled live assaults in Japan, Europe and Amerika. 

Watch out for a show in a town near you.


There exist dynamic mechanisms whereby the emotionally disturbed person produces a specific acoustic impact on the listener. Acoustic patterns are subject not only to the physiological laws governing respiration and phonation, but also to social rules regarding acoustic expression of emotion. Experiments by Peter Ostwald in 1960 resulted in objectification of some patterns into 4 categories: 
1. Hysterical/excited subjects produced a 'sharp' voice with acoustic doubling in the mid-range, identical to children's voices. 
2. Depresse`Vobsessional people show persistent fixing of one fundamental tone, and a midrange pattern smeared out in a 'flat' way across the spectrum. 
3. Organically ill/emotionally drained subjects have characteristically 'hollow' voices with just a single concentration of sound energy at the low end of the spectrum. There is steady dropping off of energy in the mid-range and wasting away in the upper region, responsible for unintelligibility. 
4. A 'robust' voice was characteristic of those who felt the need to be heard, to impress and influence others. This was most 
often displayed by epileptic personalities, and by hypomaniacs and some neurotic subjects. 

But what effects do such impact patterns have on the auditory system of the listener? The intake structure of the human ear 
favors the mid-range of the acoustic spectrum. Sounds there produce a much stronger impact than equally intense insonation at the upper and lower extremes. Hence the reason that the human scream is concentrated over that area. Acoustic records of psychiatric patients reveals certain peaks along the frequency-intensity spectrum more recurrent and prominent than others. When subjected to stress situations, ordinary subjects exhibit a gain in acoustic intensity at 125Hz and 500Hz. It is more complicated with psychiatric patients, but the measure of total loudness is significant also at 500Hz. In addition these observations were taken before and after various standard types of treatment, the results showing that there was a significant increase in loudness after electroconvulsive therapy and a decrease after drug treatment. 
It is of interest that the 500HZ band is the most significant, since it is here that the neo-natal infant emits the first cry. The experiments also showed there was little difference between patterns of the two sexes, indicating that sounds of acutely disturbed patients stem from some primitive, pregenital response pattern. 


Systematic manipulation of the acoustic environment can and has been used as a primary technique for influencing human behavior. High intensity noise was used in the cells of the prison at Sta'T~nheim in West Germany where the Baader-Meinhof were imprisoned. The constant inability to hear the sounds of their own bodies and the unceasing stress caused must have been a major factor in their suicides. 
The intensity level is the most important feature. Noise above 130 dB leads to loss of space orientation, above 140 and the subject feels nauseous and may vomit. At 145 dB the stretch receptors of muscles, joints and tendons are affected and the movement of limbs becomes disorganized. And at 150 dB the skin receptors are activated producing heat pain. 
But in addition to stress, there is the annoyance factor. To speak intelligibly in noise requires 18 dB more volume than the noise signal, and the listener must also work harder. Feedback mechanisms are interfered with when one can't hear one's own sounds, leading to speech retardation, blocking, slurring and repetition. In addition the nomlal speech rhythm and intonation patterns are lost and subjects produce strange noises. They also laugh aggressively and erotically, and most significantly reveal information they would otherwise have never divulged. This pattern is most notable in acute paranoid schizophrenics where aggressive behavior and panic reactions involving hyperparanoia can be induced. 
Finally one can consciously or unconsciously attribute meaning to noise because it frustrates the habitual listener demand for precise environmental clues. Noise had the capacity to suggest various imaginary and autistic interpretations which may disturb. 
Human body sounds are also the subject of investigation as to their effects on listeners. Respiratory sounds have been found to have a hypnotic effect when amplified and resumed to the ears of the breather and others. Panting produces anxiety and wheezing seems to stimulate paternal/maternal "instincts."     Salk found that behavior and development of babies can be sped up by exposure to taped heart beats. Those in the experimental group exhibited increase in weight, greater depth and regularity of respiration, less restlessness and crying, and fewer gastro-intestinal problems. An intimate relationship between the sound of urination and human auditory responsivity has often been noted (first by Van der Heide 1941), but the study was never completed. It is possible that the foetal development of the urogenital tract and the ear are related in some way.

Sequence from L'Etat Haemophiliaque - 
SPK's impending film


The unconscious provides frames through which consciously perceived data is interpreted and evaluated. The task of art,
music, literature, psychoanalysis and advertising, is to penetrate and manipulate these structures. The effectiveness of any of these fields has very little to do with conscious perception. 
The most blatant use of subliminals is of course found in advertising, but in art is goes a lot further back. The most usual technique is EMBEDDING of words or pictures in the ground of the advertisement, behind the figure (or obvious focal point). This technique was a favorite with 18th Century artists, and must later Dali, Escher etc. A subliminal imprint of the word SEX can even be found in a Rembrandt. This is the most common of a vocabulary of eight words (including CUNT, FUCK and DEATH) which are very frequently embedded in advertising copy. The word is either painted on a photoengraving plate with asphaltum and briefly immersed in acid, or lightly airbrushed into a photograph in hair, folds of clothing, etc., or written onto a transparent overlay, photographed alone at about 1/2,000 of a second, then double 

exposed over the art layout at around 1/100 of a second. The zenith of obscenity was reached in the daily newspaper photograph of Vietnam atrocities, which often had an extraordinary mosaic of SEX's scrawled subliminally over them (see photo.) To sell war better? To make it more palatable? More erotic? The other technique used very often is incorporating ANAMORPHIC images into the copy. This is high distortion, often grotesque, and only at times consciously distinguishable. One of the earliest examples in art is Holbein's anamorphic skull in the Ambassadors (1533). Frequently this method of triggering unconscious response in advertising involves strange and distorted shadows in the ground. 

Television and film have incorporated subliminals for a long time. They are presumed banned from television but are often so subtle that they escape censorship. A fairly recent example in film was the apparently innocuous Exorcise where the whole range of techniques was used, including death-mask embeds of two frames at 1/48 of a second. This was consciously visible to about 1/3 of the audience, and another 1/3 was vaguely aware of it upon questioning. But the group on whom the film showed most emotional impact were those who had not noticed it at all, i.e. those who had consciously repressed the images. Soundtracks are also especially important in management and control of movie audiences. Hitchcock ranked sound as more vital to the success of his suspense movies than his visual illusions. 

It is often claimed that subliminal material does not really affect the subject. In fact it is true that the subtlety is difficult to specify in simple cause-effect terminology. But it can be shown that there is something going on in the unconscious by watching EEG and galvanic skin response meters, and retinascopes which measure the compulsive expansion/contraction of the retina, plus Mackworth camera which tracks the ultra-fast movements of the fovea across any scene. In addition the Poetzle Effect whereby people exposed to subliminal ads reveal their effectiveness much later by unconsciously choosing that brand out of a wide range, is statistically verified. Experiments with fovea cameras have shown that the fovea moves in a saccade from point to point in response to symbolizing content. Symbols involving death will pull the eye irresistibly towards a specific locus, and even sex has to run second in Westem culture in almost 100% of cases. Design elements - lines of movement or attention - also are vital in directing the fovea. Meaning is derived from the sequence of microsecond stops compulsively made by the fovea in its saccades. Change the sequence and the meaning changes, even though the frame content remains the same. 

An example of subliminals used on the front
cover of TIME Magazine March 1971

Tests carried out by psychologists in the auditory field show much the same unconcious processes operating as for visuals. It is fairly easy to see that sublimal stimuli presented at intensity just below that necessary to hear them properly will trigger off psychic responses. But a stimulus influences not only output behavious, but also input, because the meaing of the word contributes to its audibility. Sex words presented 5db below threshold to anorexics, for exapmple, let to signigicantly more food responses that neutral or conscious stimuli.

It is important however to adopt an attitude to sublimal techniquse, as to most technology, that it is not, in itself, a grat evil. The problem is that we are being manipulated without our knowledge for purely commercial or reputational gain by corporations or artists interested in pantentialting specific responses. In both cases the subject has no choice in the matter. 
However, it is possible to use the idea in another way. The educational potential of sublimals is enourmous, since it is experimentally shown that thresholds for learning are much lower at the unconscious than the conscious level, where distraction, anxiety, tension and fear control the thresholds. In film and sound production it is possible to include sublimals which can potentiate free associations in the unconscious, rather than dictating any specific response to it and denying it any choice or participation in the process.


Sound sources at frequencies outside the nomlal limits of human auditory response are the subject of much popular mythology. First research in depth by the US Military in the 50s, they are now used primarily in warfare and medical applications. SPK has been using certain kinds of low and high frequency generators: for some time in live assaults. Here we present some facts about such signals. 
Infrasound, or frequencies below 20 Hz, is commonly the byproduct of transport, air heating/cooling systems, compressors, transfommers, and vibration/acceleration phenomena. But in order to experimentally generate these frequencies at adequate levels for hearing (or rather for experiencing), requires immense power and large and specialized equipment (e.g. piston-driven speakers). The loudness factor necessary is in excess even of the loudest aero-turbine at some frequencies. However, once generated, annoyance thresholds increase very fast as we take the oscillator or noise generator down through the range. Once the tactile sensations become evident there is a dramatic leap in the response curve (i.e. below 10 Hz). At 20 Hz it requires 85.2 dB for the signal to be perceived, rising to 92.1 dB at 15 Hz, 99.5 at 10 Hz, 111.1 at 5 Hz, and a massive 121.4 dB at 2 Hz. 
The following subjective responses were experimentally gained by subjecting test subjects to whole-body fields. 
2 - 5 Hz (137 dB) - difficulty in speaking/voice modulation, chest wall vibration, swaying sensations, lethargy, drowsiness, headaches and fatigue. 
5 - 15 Hz - middle ear pain, difficulty speaking/voice modulation, severe chest wall vibration, severe abdomen vibration and nausea, falling sensation, lack of concentration/drowsiness, severe fatigue/headache. 
15 - 20 Hz - severe middle-ear pain, respiratory difficulty, severe chest wall vibration, gagging sensations, spasm of uncontrollable coughing, nasal cavity vibration, persistent eye watering, fear symptoms (including excessive perspiration/shivering), severe fatigue/headaches. In two cases (both female) cuntaeous flushing. 

Yet perhaps most interesting of all is that in no case did any of the subjects request that the experiment be discontinued, though several were unwilling to submit to a repetition. In fact if the same volume of sound is fed to experimental subjects at frequencies above theinfrasonic region (e.g. from 50 -100 Hz) the above symptoms are seen to be far more acute, and at lower volumes.

At the other end of the spectrum, it is necessary to have more specialized equipment for generating signals in the megahertz range. But the effects are severe and applied in sophisticated weapons technology. 
Ultrasound works by raising the temperature of living tissue, the main parameter being DURATION of exposure rather than variation in frequency or intensity of the source. The threshold temperature is inversely related to the logarithm of duration, for irreversible damage to the mammalian central nervous system it is sufficient to generate a signal of 2.7 MHz pulsing 10 - 200 microseconds sustainer for anywhere between 0 1 - 180 microseconds, giving a temperature rise of 42c. 

Specific effects from experiments at similar levels 

Neurological/Behavioral - altered EEG 
                                        altered emotional behaviour 
                                        delayed neuromotor reflex development in foetus 

Genetic - decreased incorporation of nucleic acid precursors 
               chromosomal aberrations 
               DNA strand degradation. 

Foetal Development - mutations 
                                  postpartum mortality 
                                  reduced weight 
                                  altered emotional behaviour 

Hematological / Vascular - decreased clotting time 
                                          blood stasis 

Immunal System - depressed response in general 


Art Brut is the name given to the collection of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and writings by patients in mental asylums of France, or by people found living  in total obscurity producing works producing works of art obsessionally. It is housed in a small museum in Laussane, Switzerland and periodically is shown at obscure venues around Europe. The quality of the work is screened (for better or worse) with a view to retaining only that which seems entirely original. The result is a living array of undecipherable calligraphiks, primitivist figures, unreadable muzik, and obsessive designs as well as a vast array of curious paintings of style found nowhere in "art history". 
Some of the more interesting people are Adolf Wolfi, who aged 25 molested young girls, was given 2 years jail, and later, a similar offense led him to be interned at Waldau. He was conceptionally violent and spent 20 years in solitary confinement. In 1899 he began to write, design, and compose musik, working feverlishly day and night. His muzikal works are not able to be interpretated in the ordinary way, appearing to be for vusual effect and incorporating strange collages. Heinrich Anton Muller began in 1917 to design and cover the walls of his room iwh symbolic images. He also made funcionless machines, this work occupying him for 12 years. Then in 1925 he suddenly began again and produced a completely different set of designs. 
Robert Gie. was hospitalised for 14 years as alcoholic, until 1922, where he suffered from delusions of paranoid variety. Most of his work was done around 1916, and its complex linkages between man and machine figuring control of mental process, is far in advance of such ideas in mainstream art.

xywoleh vay barec het vay yomar ha elohe 
elohim ascher tywohe hythale chuabotay lep 
ha nawabra hanveys ha hakla elohim haro 
he otymeo dy addhayon hazze hamalech hago 


Lyrics from SPK's forthcoming record