What does Wi-Fi look like? In these amazing images created by artist Nickolay Lamm, we can finally begin to visualize the mediascape that invisibly surrounds us. This is a perfect example, it seems to me, of what McLuhan was getting at with his enimagmatic turn of the phrase, “The medium is the message.” The content of Wi-fi is secondary to the environment that it shapes, colors, and influences, and these images do a wonderful job of visualizing the “medium” of Wi-fi through colors. They help students visualize a rather enigmatic concept about media.
Try to attend steadfastly to a dot on the paper or on the wall. You presently find that one or the other of two things has happened: either your field of vision has become blurred, so that you now see nothing distinct at all, or else you have involuntarily ceased to look at the dot in question, and are looking at something else
Keys contain multitudes. Few things provide access to the physical and symbolic world in such an immediate and unconscious manner. Keys twist and turn their way through the history of storage, media, writing, architecture, privacy, slavery, and so much more. They are the portals to our dream worlds, the objects that we use to open and close doors, conceal and shut out, enslave and punish, hide and reveal.
The hand feeds the machine, and vice versa. In this remarkable 1936 poster, notice how the left hand is feeding the typewriter paper. The white sheet anticipates the blankness of the screen. It’s even tilted in the appropriate direction, throwing into relief the future history of the laptop on the lap.
“Children at play are not playing about. Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.” Michel de Montaigne.
The first recorded human trumpet, played back from the living dead.
To pin, or not to pin: that is the question. But nobody thinks of it that way: that is, as an ethical, moral, or imperative question. We just keep pinning and pinning, tagging and marking the world into a virtual map cut and paste by our fingers. Until the map is the territory and “all visible objects…are but as pasteboard masks.”