Satellite Lamps

Posted on 20 August 2014 in Film, Photography, Project, Research, Technology, Urbanism

Satellite_Lamps

Satellite Lamps is a project that reveals one of the most significant contemporary technology infrastructures, the Global Positioning System (GPS). Made with Einar Sneve Martinussen and Jørn Knutsen as part of the Yourban research project at AHO, it continues our project of revealing the materials of technologies that started in 2009 with RFID and WiFi.

GPS is widely used yet it’s invisible and few of us really have any idea of how it works or how it inhabits our everyday environments. We wanted to explore the cultural and material realities of GPS technology, and to develop new understandings about it through design.

“Satellite Lamps shows that GPS is not a seamless blanket of efficient positioning technology; it is a negotiation between radio waves, earth-orbit geometry and the urban environment. GPS is a truly impressive technology, but it also has inherent seams and edges.”

We created a series of lamps that change brightness according to the accuracy of received GPS signals, and when we photograph them as timelapse films, we start to build a picture of how these signals behave in actual urban spaces.

We’ve made a film that you can watch here, and published an extensive article that details very thoroughly how it was made and why. You can read more on how we explored GPS technology, how the visualisations were made, and about the popular cultural history of GPS.

3 Comments

  1. Predicting predictions arrival
    13 October 2014

    […] 10:25) 3. Towstop.com wants to fix towing (IndieGoGo link) (starts at 13:45) 4. Timo Arnall’s Satellite Lamps project (starts at 16:30) 5. Square’s “Arrival Prediction” to keep coffee hot (starts at […]

  2. Satellite Lamps bringen GPS zum Leuchten #Video | Smart Light & Living
    16 October 2014

    […] Zeichnungen wiedergegeben und nun durch die intensive Beschäftigung mit GPS auch eine Reihe von „Satellite Lamps“ […]

  3. LBMA Podcast: Apple’s Location Warnings, Facebook’s Local Ads | Street Fight
    17 October 2014

    […] at 10:25) 3. Towstop.com wants to fix towing (IndieGoGo link) (starts at 13:45) 4. Timo Arnall’s Satellite Lamps project (starts at 16:30) 5. Square’s “Arrival Prediction” to keep coffee hot (starts at 19:10) 6. […]

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