immaterials: light painting wifi by timo arnall + jorn knutsen + einar sneve martinussen
feb 28, 2011
immaterials: light painting wifi by timo arnall + jorn knutsen + einar sneve martinussen


einar sneve martinussen demonstrating the measuring rod
all images © timo arnall

timo arnall, jørn knutsen, and einar sneve martinussen have built a measuring rod
for visualizing the immaterial wifi networks in cities. based on the idea of a surveyor creating maps,
the trio’s work creates an abstracted cross section of the invisible networks and landscapes that are
an integral part to how today’s cities function.

the 4m tall rod has 80 leds running the entire length that pulse and raise based on the strength
of a selected wifi network. through time-lapse photography and three weeks in the grünerløkka area of oslo,
norway, the pulsing lights create a physical representation of how different types of networks behave in their
specific environments. the digital qualities we think of as network strength, consistency, and reach are shown
as material manifestations reflecting the homes, businesses, and parks that the network is set up to serve.

the trio hopes to expand the research of these invisible landscapes to better understand our urban existence
through other more widespread technologies including 3G, GSM and radio. martinussen is currently writing a
book discussing how the interwoven nature of digital structures and physical environments directly effect people’s
experiences on a material level.

immaterials: light painting wifi from timo on vimeo


detail of building the device

more images of light painting and details of their process on arnall’s flickr photostream.
more info on their thoughts and theories behind this work at yourban

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library