Thursday, March 19, 2009

Omnipresent Communication

You can go nowhere in the modern age (nowhere industrialised and urbanised) without communications. That mobile in your pocket is so compact because the network is all around it, it doesn't have to shout very far to reach big ears listening for it. These are the sort of ears involved, industrial masts that sprout from buildings and the landscape, to carry the signal traffic to computers that route it in the blink of an eye. Whether this particular mast carries the mobile phone network I'm not certain, but the same principle applies: signals, all around us, every instant. There is something very science fictional about it all, even from the perspective of living in the 21st century, and classic SF from fifty years ago rarely made accurate projections about information systems, or predicted the role they would come to play in our lives. We didn't get the spaceships, but we did get the computers, the phones, the giant TVs... And the structures, which would not look out of place in some harsh, mechanised landscape in the paintings of Foss, Elson, Moore or Jones. This was a simple telephoto framing of a mast on a tall building, shot through a construction site in central Adelaide on a hot Sunday morning in February, 2007. The image was sharpened 5% but is otherwise unenhanced. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic exposure. Image by Mike.

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