Panoramic Wifi Camera

Year: 
2010
Format:
hacktivism installation

The Panoramic Wifi Camera takes ‘pictures’ of spaces illuminated by wireless radio signals, in much the same way that a traditional camera takes pictures through visible light. In effect, it is a camera which captures the invisible. Wireless radio networks are increasingly part of our daily lives throughout the developed world. The camera reveals the topology of this electromagnetic ecology, or ‘Hertzian space’, showing that even our own bodies cast their ‘shadows’. Wifi uses wireless radio signals in the of 2.4 Ghz range which behave similarly to light waves, in that they are reflected off almost all solid objects. When we perceive colours, we see the light that is reflected off an object into our eyes. The Panoramic Wifi Camera allows us to perceive the radio environment in a similar manner. The Panoramic Wifi Camera is constructed from home-made directional antennae, which are placed in a careful array, each at a slightly different angle. This array rotates slowly, scanning, to build-up an image of a space. The work is a powerful example of how artists are creating new methods of visualising the intangible and atemporal environment which we exist within.

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