Densities

This project was awarded a VIDA 15.0 incentive and it’s under production.

An autonomous bunch of hovering bots is launched within a city or an interior space. They explore their environment in a simple manner: They sense proliferation of CO2 and concentration of electric radiation, looking for traces of human activity, they sniff for data around these signals, retransmit these data and send calls for others to join them if they find something interesting. These calls works in multiple ways, sending data through public channels temporarily, either arbitrarily or calling for other agents to join. There’s no memory of all this sniffing at all, but the movements around space and the retransmissions that are sent to the net.

Anticipating the use of drones over the cityscape within the near future and recurring to classical sci-fi images of future advertisement and “spionage”, we pursue the making of an impossible flying organism that is always present, perceives and nourishes on people’s electronic presence, and is so devious as it is charming and meaningful, so subtle as it’s visible and dumb. There’s no deterministic way of behaving, each individual assumes it’s position according to indexes defined by the sensor network.

This organism is structured as a typical robot swarm, but uses hovering as a way of moving around, daylight as a source of energy and a microcomputer to process data and transmit it wirelessly. Each individual would send constantly a GPS signal in case it needs others to come closer or simply to be found in case of getting lost or being injured.

The objective is to embody environmental and privacy consciousness by means of data capture algorithms, hardware hacking and sculptural techniques. The main narrative is to explore swarm behavior as a possible way to visualize normally-invisible environmental debris and information flows in-situ, as a byproduct of human activity.

Flirting with the possibility of a dystopian future where privacy is surgically taxonomized and deconstructed by advertisement technologies, spy software, drones and a pandemonium of incomprehensible data mining technologies, densities is an innocent, though not naive regard on this constellation from the perspective of garage-science and virtual narratives.

THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN AWARDED WITH ONE OF THE VIDA 15 PRIZES BY THE FUNDACIÒN TELEFÒNICA IN 2013