~e; EM Aesthetics: Camouflage

From bc <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Tue, 14 Jan 2003 23:28:26 -0600

  // today Wired News has an article about camouflaged wireless
// antennas that are disguised to blend-in to their environment,
// often by looking like something else, natural or artificial....

Stealth Antennae Try to Blend In (see 'story images')

// this has been going on for at least 5+ years and it is also
// one of the harder things to document, and i have newspaper
// clippings with photographs, but this is the best online source
// i've yet to see which shows the aesthetic range of antennae.

// it derives, i would argue, from earlier precedents in electrical
// infrastructure designs, where 'aesthetics' are an actual goal
// of the design of street lighting, distribution pole, transformers,
// and other device through material, form, and color.

// if you have a chance to see a pad-mounted transformer or
// a phone-switch box (a metal box sitting on a concrete pad),
// often it will be green, brown, or gray (in the US at least) and
// can, in a sense, disappear as another shrub, bush, or rock
// in the landscape. a wooden utility poles can blend in with
// a street of filled-in summer trees.

// the other aspect is when things go underground, which can
// be compared with finding the floor/sidewalk vaults and grates
// with 'high voltage' written on them. in the suburbs, electrical
// and cable tv and other services are seen not in poles in a
// newly barren landscape, but as foreign objects popping up
// out of the ground, which has similarities in function to the
// hidden wires and infrastructure of Disneyland's animatronic
// exhibits, which work magically because their inner-workings
// (infrastructure) are camouflaged or aesthetically unseen.

// so, cellphone towers are following somewhat of a tradition,
// whose level of documentation is still unknown in terms of
// the base EM infrastructure's planned sublimity. yet, cellular
// and other technologies (say, security cameras) are going
// into another realm of literalism, replacing one image with
// a substitution, possibly obvious or oblivious to observers.

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