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Ghostly Images of WiFi Signals Captured Using Long Exposure Photography and an Android App



So much of the world today is invisible to cameras. Technology operates in a light-less world of zeroes and ones, electromagnetic waves that fly over our heads in ever-increasing abundance.

For his fascinating project Digital Ethereal, designer Luis Hernan set out to capture one of these invisible signals, WiFi, using a creative combination of long exposure photography and an Android app.

Since you can’t just set up your camera next to your router, click the shutter button and capture a ‘stream’ of information pouring out, Hernan decided to ‘translate’ that info into light and color using an Android app called Kirlian Device mobile that visualizes WiFi signal strength using a series of colors.


The resulting images reveal these invisible signals that Hernan says remind him of ghosts. From the Digital Ethereal project website:

I believe our interaction with this landscape of electromagnetic signals, described by Antony Dunne as Hertzian Space, can be characterized in the same terms as that with ghosts and spectra.

They both are paradoxical entities, whose untypical substance allows them to be an invisible presence. In the same way, they undergo a process of gradual substantiation to become temporarily available to perception. Finally, they both haunt us. Ghosts, as Derrida would have it, with the secrets of past generations. Hertzian space, with the frustration of interference and slowness.

Here’s a look at the rest of the series:












To find out more about Digital Ethereal and explore the other fascinating ways that Hernan explored this invisible space for the project, head over to the DE website by clicking here.

(via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Photographs courtesy of Luis Hernan/Digital Ethereal