God On The CB Radio

Sometimes art pushes boundaries. We’ve covered a lot of tech art that blurs the lines between the craft of engineering and high-concept art theory. Praydio, by [Niklas Roy] and [Kati Hyyppä] leans easy on the tech, but pushes against viewers’ religious sensibilities.

Playing with the idea of talking directly to God, and with the use of altars as a focal point to do so, [Niklas] and [Kati] took the extremely literal route: embedding a CB radio into a dollar-store shrine. The result? If you’re lucky, someone will answer your prayers, although we’re not too hopeful that the intervention will be divine.

The art critic in us would say that this is a radical democratization of religious authority in that anyone who is tuned in can play the role of Jesus. Or maybe we’d say something about the perception of religious significance in the seemingly random events of our everyday life — maybe it’s not just chance that someone is tuning in at the time you’re asking for help?

Honestly, though, we think they’re just having a bit of fun. The video (below the break) shows someone asking Jesus for a coffee, and the artist on the other end laughs and fetches him one. It’s not high-tech, and it’s not even amateur radio the way we usually think of it, but something about the piece made us laugh, and then to think for a bit. Even if this art isn’t your style, check out [Niklas’] website — he’s got tons of fun projects written up, a few of which we’ve covered here before.

45 thoughts on “God On The CB Radio

    1. Lake – Tesla did ave a REAL Tesla Scope. However, all he arguably picked up was Morse Code and assumed it was Martians trying to communicate with him due to Percival Lowell’s and Schiaperelli’s concurrent Martian discoveries Little did he know about QRM from the EMF generated by the telegraph lines running through Colorado. And of course Marconi sending MC from Cape Cod on his spark-gap transmitter concurrent to the Tesla Scope intercepts.

        1. I think as far as harrassment and discrimination goes, for Christians vs queer people, if you had any decency you’d be on your knees apologising for the next thousand years.

          It’s great when organisations who are still oppressing queer people around the world start crying, “But WE’RE a minority, just a really large, powerful one!”

    1. Why not?
      Well this is targeted at religion, something people are (should be?) free to make their own choice about which is quite different to race and arguably different to sexuality.
      Just to be clear I’m not condoning religious laughs or condemning racial laughs I’m just giving you the reply you so desperately wanted. What is important is being able to laugh at yourself. and others.

  1. As a lover of science, engineering and God (Jesus) I find this humorous. I have often wondered how prayer does work with an infinite God, love to learn the science behind it, Hey I bet He can use CB also :).

    1. DougL – As a Christian zealot as you apparently are, you would not believe me if I told you. So I will give it to you in bread crumbs and you piece it together like a puzzle: 1) Who did Jesus pray to? Himself? 2) Who administered to his needs the night after he asked the mission be passed to another entity (Matthew 26:39)? 3) What is the role of the “obedient” beneha’elohim (Luke 1:11-13)? What role did they play throughout the biblical narrative? 4) since the Almighty One (Ps 83:18) created these beings a little higher than us (Hebrews 2:7 ), then what better intermediator than them? Ones who are intimate with our daily trials and tribulations, witnessed our creation, were there throughout our millennia of mistakes, errors, and willful disobedience.

      In summary and your final clue: In he 18th century in America we used the Pony Express to deliver sensitive private postal mail to let’s say our boss on the East Coast from out in the remote West. Now that message was delivered to the boss via intermediators. Did we think we were delivering the message to the intermediator or the boss? Why use intermediators? Why not? It’s more efficient and is also important for the intermediator (who is in fact listening) to learn more about the person in a deeper way. The intermediators have a vested interest too but they are NOT the boss.

      How do you end your prayers before the AMEN (or let it be so) part? To a metaphysical intermediator with a specific personal name? Or did you always wondered why you suffixed your prayers that way if He was in fact the Almighty One? I know this is a much DEEPER subject than a HaD forum but I just felt compelled to reduce the complexity a bit here. Sorry if you (et al) are offended – not my intent at all.

    1. Awww.. I’m sorry to hear that it isn’t CB. I take it the artist is on the other end? Random CBers stumbling on this thing and taking the roll would be funnier.

      As for the speaker.. why does it need to sound good? Actually.. I’m thinking that if it is all distorted then that is just an added effect.

      1. As bob has concluded, the heart of Jesus is a PMR446 walkie talkie – (FRS & GMRS walkie talkies aren’t allowed in Europe). Nevertheless, there are quite a few people using walkie talkies on Madeira, so you can hear Jesus talk randomly in Portuguese from time to time.

        Regarding the speaker: It sounds good as it is. You could certainly also put it inside an enclosure and increase volume and audio quality by doing so. But this is not about HIFI – and the larger speaker sounds already better than the walkie talkie’s original speaker.

  2. I was very young and it was a long time ago, so my memory is fuzzy on this. Back in the 70’s during the height of the CB craze (lots of poorly tuned, overpowered transmitters driving around back then) a few times a signal would somehow bleed over on our church organ. I was way too young to even think of trying to understand how this could happen (but I’m pretty sure I’m not confusing it with a wireless mic setup, our small church didn’t have any kind of voice amplifier back then). I recall one during a sermon, there was a loud “That’s a big 10-4 good buddy” coming out of nowhere, startling everyone. The organist started turning it off during sermons.

      1. Also the ever present trucker channel is still extant with a vengeance as they say: Tune to channel 19. Just don;t try and interact with them unless you are actually driving an 18-wheeler and are intimately familiar with heir jargon and codes. Saying “Breaker one nine good buddy…” will certainly get you flamed!!!

    1. Well CB-SSB has picked up a bit. And there are several modulation modes being illegally used now so you might erroneously think CB has gone dark. Some have discovered Morse Code, SSTV, RTTY, and PSK31. Since voice is not evident in those modes you might confuse it with QRM or man-made interference. And SSB itself is a voice mode but listening to it on AM you might just think it’s QRM noise. Also some of these scoff-laws go out of band up to 10 meter band and in between, I just can’t wait for someone to discover CB-FHSS. Imagine the anonymity and enhanced communications FHSS offers.

      The problem with cellphones is that there APPEARS to be no common voice sharing app to allow truckers to communicate anonymously in a group like on CB. However, there are CB channels on Zello dot com that need to be checked out. Zello is a unique walkie-talkie like app that replaces the old NEXTEL-PTT model. All you need is a smartphone and this free app. It’s being used worldwide especially by freedom-fighters etc.

      Here is a SMARTPHONE to CB Radio app I found on Internet that uses ZELLO. It appears free and straightforward. Pass it around to your trucker friends (and others): http://tinyurl.com/SMARTPHONE-TO-CB-APP

  3. This reminds me of “Born in East L.A.” with Cheech Marin. There was a scene where Cheech’s character’s cousin stayed over at his house, and Cheech tried to call him, but the answering machine picked up…and it was BEHIND A PICTURE OF JESUS. “Jesus wants servesas!” ;)

  4. so what ya gonna do when God actually DOES reply? :P that’s the theological question i find most interesting.

    God/Allah/FSM can be telling you to do something but the ever arrogant humans will just pretend nothing happened?

    1. qwerty – “…atheist and former CBer… “ is that the quintessential oxymoron or what? How do you suppose CB radios (science & technology) evolved? I haven’t seen any simian CB radios yet? The human brain and it’s complex mind is no accident of natural selection (another oxymoron as you need sentience to “select” anything.).

  5. This is the first time i see a post on Hackaday that insult some people’s beliefs. I’m disapointed. This type of work is not art. Art must elevate people, blame the cult. This type of work is not an expression of democracy. Democracy is ended when you disturb other people. And, to be clear, atheism is a religion too. Can’t demonstrate inexistence of spiritualy. Maybe exist, but you don’t have the proper apparatus to detect it. How can be sure? My hope is that Hachaday will keep up and not go down with this type of insulting and propagandistic articles. And to be correct, i’m ortodox christian. Apologise for my poor english. By the way, this is not a hack, even for a noob like me.

    1. First off, any work that expresses ones own feelings through some form of medium is just one of many forms of art. Secondly, atheism isn’t a form of religion, it is an idea. Atheism is the idea that a god does not exist because no physical proof has been presented that a god does or does not exist. I will agree that this isn’t a hack, but this website can divert into other topics in technology as well. A diverse selection of articles to read all about technology is not a bad thing, as long as they are well researched and not full of fluff. Take care and Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.

      1. Vivian – ARA already said she has a problem with English as it is not her first language (I suspect Farsi/Urdu/ Arabic is but I’d only be guessing blindly). Your ostensibly naturally-selected-evolved complex mind should have told you she was simply paraphrasing a thought about the subject matter. To re-express her true intent: “To me, the zeal of atheism and it’s axiomatic tenets has the outward appearance of being similar to today’s zeal within religious belief systems. Only sans deities.” So her saying in such a dogmatic way:”And, to be clear, atheism is a religion too. ” is not a stretch for perspicacious-minded people like yourself. :-P

  6. Religious stuff – skip this section if easily offended or you are an atheist…
    Cute article… But to go all religiously pedantic on you: The actual Judaeo-Christian deity never actually “directly” spoke to anyone except the “perfect-humans” Adam and Jesus. It can be arguably assumed from biblical circumstantial evidence deity-to-human verbal audible interactions was done proxy by God’s first-born Michael (arguably the pre-human Jesus) who allegedly accepted the fateful mission to Earth to temporarily become Jesus (or Yeshua) of Nazareth in 1st century.CE.

    OK I know I’m being dreadfully esoteric here! But some of you wannabe and real theologians are understanding, I know. So who’s been masquerading all this time with gullible human victims saying “God spoke to me last night”? You can get a clue right here from Saul of Tarsus in his 2nd letter to the accurate-knowledge-lacking Corinthians: 2 Cor 11:14. (ref: biblegateway dot com)

    Next question: Jesus was obviously worshiping and praying to a higher deity than himself. Who was that? Is this a religious paradigm shift in thinking for you? It shouldn’t be as it’s not a new teaching at all.
    HaD Related Stuff
    OK let’s shift gears to more HaD-ish stuff: The US Navy is using a device which they are calling simply a sound projector boat hailer. However, it can do much more than that. Woody Norris (the inventor) invented this thing that uses two ultrasonic beams to heterodyne inside your skull to cause AUDIO from an remote undetermined source many feet away. He is calling it a hypersonic sound projector, The US Navy and Walmart picked up on it’s potential right away.

    Walmart plans on using it for focused per-person-advertising. The USN is using it allegedly just for boat hailing. I guess you can point this thing at a distant human and start speaking into the microphone and nobody hears NOTHING except the targeted human off in the distance. Now I know you HaD “out-of-box-thinkers” know where this is headed don’t you?

    Some really sneaky people in the alphabet-soup-world PROBABLY came up with the idea I’ll euphemistically call the VoG like some nebulous DARPA acronym: Hmmm… many Charismatic Christians and others like Muslims believe in direct aural communications with their respective deities. OK how could a sneaky agency exploit that idea using Woody’s gadget? I’ll let you fill in the rest…

    BTW you can buy one yourself for about $250 USD – http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-NIB-HyperSonic-Sound-HSS-H450-B-Long-Distance-Ultrasonic-Directional-Speaker-/391246933285 or HaD geniuses could build one of our own?

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.