Reading Response to Dunne & Raby

As I read both the readings I was thinking about what my project should be. Before I could figure out what the project was going to be I needed to pose some questions. This is the result of the new questions and understandings that I arrived at after the readings:

I was particularly interesting in the Dunne & Rabby reading about Hertzian space because they made me aware of a space that previously I had no idea existed beyond my phone’s recognition of wifi and a car radio’s ability to receive music signals from towers. There are so many terms and new vocabulary for describing Hetzian space and those who have found way to interact with and utilize it. Hertzian space is an area beyond normal human perception, which is why the vocabulary around it is so odd. It has to be very specific in order to describe this very particular area of the universe – the spectrum. A word has to be invented to designate something as existing because thats how humans communicate concepts, ideas, and things – especially things beyond which can be understood using our built in biological sensors. Senses such as taste, touch, sight, hearing, and smell can be used to share an experience with other humans because they have the same sensory abilities. For example, An apple is equally understood between two individuals from opposite sides of the globe as a fruit because it is sweet when eaten. it feels waxy to the touch and we can see that it grows on trees and that it has a stem. All of these features, which we can detect using our external sensory functions, of an apple make up how we, as humans define it to be an apple. But how do you understand something entirely that is beyond our natural human sensory perception? How do you describe such a thing? It is abstract if it has not been grounded in reality through our senses. Another language is required to describe realms beyond human perception: math. Mathematical equations can describe natural phenomenons that are beyond normal human perception. For instance Hertzian space is made up of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is understood in terms of frequency and is visualized as oscillating waves. However, this is still an abstraction of the original form and it is still removed from our senses. It is not truly representative.

How can we make Hertzian space into a place? How can we make Hertzian space more tangible? In what ways can we visualize Hertzian space? It is omnipresent, yet the only way we understand it to exist is the moment we lose connection to the internet and have to reconnect. Only in moments where we require access to the internet, but cannot get on, do we realize its existence, other wise we take it for granted that we can search wikipedia and surf google.

As James Hunter puts it, “we create ‘place’ only through continual acts of seizure.” That is, a space is something that doesn’t exist, is not defined, yet is everywhere and is only turned into place when something grabs your attention, pulling you away from your normal monotonous flow. Place is created where disruptions push an pull the normal current of time as perceived by a human. Hertzian space, at the moment, is disrupting people all the time when their internet goes out, but in a way that isn’t enjoyable, gainful, or fun. There were a few examples of people who were actively seizing hertzian space by searching for natural radio frequencies traveling through space and interacting with Earths ionosphere. What if there were some way to disrupt ones normal flow of activity by making them more aware of the dense radioscape they are surrounded by? How could the invisible become visible, tangible, and real to the human senses? These are questions I am beginning to ask as well as think about ways in which the questions can be materialized into a project.

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