Re: [design] 3g masts that look like trees

John Young wrote:

What else could the towers be disguised as? Radio and radar towers appear
to have been socially accepted, even used as displays of technological
prowess like smokestacks once were.

the 'fabric' of electromagnetic infrastructure (traffic lights,
street lights, pad-mounted transformers, power pylons, antennae,
etc.) often have an 'invisible' quality. for instance, it is
very difficult to photograph a large metal broadcast antenna
from afar, in daylight, because it is largely transparent if
seen from a distance. it dematerializes, just as with orbiting
satellites, beyond normal site, therefore beyond normal mind.
at least in the .US there is an intentional design to make
the EM infrastructure purposefully disappear by having the
electrical 'grid' blend into the environment. for instance,
wooden distribution poles on a street lined with trees is
different than using concrete poles or wooden poles in a
concrete alley with no trees. the tree trunks share some
qualities that place them in a more similar category, at
times. pad-mounted transformers and telephone switch boxes
are painted green and gray, to blend into landscaping as if
another shrub or boulder. this could be considered a type
of simulcra or simulation. its reference may only need to
be approximate to make it invisible. and it is a common
(or patten) language in EM-infrastructure design, and as
such functions within cultural dimensions of architecture.

Paul Shepheard has written about camouflage, which were
referenced in my 'architecture of electricity' thesis:

'The author continues by exploring issues related to machines, one of which is camouflage. Shepheard states that "[t]he attraction of camouflage in peacetime lies in the mediation it makes between human perception and the land." (236) It becomes a "confusion between space and time... a confusion of the general with the particular. Confusions have some sort of answer in camouflage, not because it's ambiguous, but because it is illusory. If you think of style, now, as a camouflage instead of an expression, what a difference that makes: style is put on the carcass of the building not so much to proclaim its meaning as to obscure the neutrality of the entity underneath." (237)' .. 'Likewise the ELECTRICAL STYLE can be considered a type of camouflage, in that it attempts to "blend" into the surrounding environment, and "recede-into-the-background" of our perceptive CONSCIOUSNESS, thus staying as a hidden REALITY...'

Airplanes dump far more toxic materials into the environment than do
electromagnetic devices, yet the craft are beloved. Same for ships.

as individual and discrete technological objects (even including
airports in the infrastructure) this may be true for the however
many (hundred+ thousand?) large planes in the world. though if
taken not as artifacts alone, and in their larger assemblage,
the millions of trillions of electronic devices are far more
damaging in terms of industrial processes that goes into their
making (chemicals, clean rooms, energy), their use (pollution,
wasted energy), their lifespan (dumps with leaching of toxins).
which includes everything from nuclear power to EM weaponry.
one cell phone may not be as dangerous as an airplane, but
they are discarded every 2 or 3 years, and there are billions
of them that act in unison, probably with enough signals that
are saturating the Earth that E.T.s elsewhere are intrigued.

MoMA needs to valorize a cell phone system, if not the environmental
dumpage of modern world's valorized objects.

i've been wondering for months now about museum stores,
art-marts, versus walmarts, and if there is an iPod in a
museum collection, if that makes Walmart's carryign of an
iPod on its shelf as a type of museum in its own rights.
there are cars, motorcycles, clothes, other things that
glorified for their design, and are also things that can
be consumed. as if a product placement up for purchase.
this has had me wondering about making a 'store' as a
type of curatorial endeavor, a type of 'art practice'.
is the museum now a store and the store now a museum?

It would be informative if an EM installation at MoMA provided viewers
a chance to take EM readings on the beautiful objects, the video art,
including the earphones of the museum's recordings, the security gates
and wands and surveillance systems, the EM emanations of building

the idea of 'visualizing' electromagnetism such as
'seeing' the abstraction of EMFs is something that
is especially of interest, as a way to communicate
about the hidden electromagnetic landscape that we
operate within everyday. i too have been thinking
about all who wear .mp3 player headphones recently,
as one is basically walking around with electro-
magnets in their ears, which thump in relation to
some circuitry playing upon cybernetic organisms.
one can delineate these things, these EM systems,
tools, buildings, one can 'map' them, but then it
seems to be a matter of 'who cares?' as of today.
it is not the visual aesthetic candy that is often
required for an idea to be considered in its own
right, beyond a quota of 'beauty first; questions
may follow if agreed upon by group consensus...'
augmented reality devices which blend VR-imagery
with everyday interactions (in a pattern matching,
platonic forms kind of way) would be capable of
adding 'fields' to a scene, possibly they would
someday be capable of feeding live metering and
other signals (from TSCM devices, say) into the
visualization devices. otherwise, the lowly RFID
may be another way of tagging objects with some
certain dimensions (radiation qualities) so to
have this data integrated in a display/reader,
which could then calculate/visualize the EMFs
based on a generic database and plot the data
into a headset or screen. might as well cut-
to-the-quick and just put DoD/DARPA into MoMA's
permanent collection and get it all over with.

brian thomas carroll: research-design-development
architecture, education, electromagnetism

  • Re: [design] 3g masts that look like trees
    • From: John Young
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    Re: [design] 3g masts that look like trees, John Young
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