IMMATERIALS

Light painting WiFi

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source: futurhu

Modern életünk egyik legmeghatározóbb vezeték nélküli technológiája a WiFi. Ez a láthatatlan adatfolyam egy nagyvárosi környezetben valósággal körbevesz bennünket, szinte úszunk a térerőben, de ezt nem is bánjuk. A legtöbb háztartásban ott figyel 1-2 laptop, melyekkel természetes igény, hogy kusza vezetékek nélkül csatlakozhassunk a világhálóhoz, arról nem is beszélve, hogy az okostelefonok tömeges elterjedésével már semmi extra nincs abban, ha a buszmegállóban valaki a levelezését intézi vagy valamelyik imádott közösségi profilját cecergeti.

A Timo Arnall, Jørn Knutsen, Einar Sneve Martinussen trió úgy döntött, hogy egy projekt keretén belül megpróbálják valamilyen formában vizualizálni ezt a láthatatlan szövevényes hálózatot. Az érdekes elképzelést egészen egyszerűen sikerült megvalósítaniuk, a divatos fényfestést alkalmazták. Ez ugye azt jelenti, hogy egy stabilan felállított fényképezővel hosszú záridős képeket készítünk, ami alatt valamilyen konkrét, erős fényforrással matatunk a látószögben. Jelen esetben egy villogó LED-ekből álló “mérőrudat” fotóztak, ami a pillanatnyi pozíciójában mért WiFi jelerősséget hivatott indikálni. Az elkészült képek igazán egyediek lettek, remekül látszik rajtuk, hogy a környező épületek és tereptárgyak hogyan befolyásolják, árnyékolják a jelterjedést. Alant található egy kis videó a munkafolyamatról, érdemes megnézni!
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source: hacknmod

Wireless networks are everywhere these days, creating invisible layers that we cannot see. This unique light painting project seeks to change that by mapping the signal strength of Wifi networks in a variety of environments. The light painting is made using a WIFI signal strength detector and a bar of LED lights. They used a long exposure camera to capture the fluctuations in signal strength as they walked across a street, campus, etc.
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source: vimeo

This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs.
A four-metre long measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.
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source: nearfieldorg

“The complex technologies the networked city relies upon to produce its effects remain distressingly opaque, even to those exposed to them on a daily basis.” – Adam Greenfield (2009)

This project explores the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs. A four-metre tall measuring rod with 80 points of light reveals cross-sections through WiFi networks using a photographic technique called light-painting.

This builds on a technique that was invented for the 2009 film ‘Immaterials: the Ghost in the Field’ which probed the edges of the invisible fields that surround RFID readers and tags in the world. It also began a series of investigations into what Matt Jones richly summarised as ‘Immaterials’.

While we were mapping out tiny RFID fields, we wondered what it would be like to apply the light painting process to larger-scale fields of Bluetooth, WiFi, GSM and 3G. What if we built huge light painting apparatus that could map out architectural and city-scale networks in the places and spaces they inhabited? We’re still very interested in understanding radio and wireless networks as one of the substrates essential to contemporary design practice.

We built the WiFi measuring rod, a 4-metre tall probe containing 80 lights that respond to the Received Signal Strength (RSSI) of a particular WiFi network. When we walk through architectural, urban spaces with this probe, while taking long-exposure photographs, we visualise the cross-sections, or strata, of WiFi signal strength, situated within photographic urban scenes. The cross-sections are an abstraction of WiFi signal strength, a line graph of RSSI across physical space. Although it can be used to determine actual signal strength at a given point, it is much more interesting as a way of seeing the overall pattern, the relative peaks and the troughs situated in the surrounding physical space.

After a week of walking through urban spaces holding and photographing this instrument, we have a much better sense of the qualities of WiFi in urban spaces, its random crackles, bright and dim spots, its reaction to the massing of buildings, and its broad reach through open areas. The resulting images show some of these qualities, and light painting is a brilliant medium for situating visualisations and data into physical world locations and situations.

Lots more visualisations and ‘making of’ pictures.

Einar writes more about this in an upcoming article called ‘Making material of the Networked City’ in Design Innovation for the Built Environment – Research by Design and the Renovation of Practice. There is also more detail on the project at the YOUrban weblog.