Ombres Blanches (EN: White Shadows)

Ombres Blanches (EN: White Shadows)
Ombres Blanches, Exhibition view, Jardin des Plantes, Toulouse, 2023 - Lab212 Collective
How to give materiality to our wireless networks data in the public space? #electromagnetic-waves #data #landscape

Lab212 Collective
Toulouse/Die, France
Lab212 is an interdisciplinary art collective, founded in 2008 in Paris.
Field of work
Design, Engineering, Visual Art, Multimedia, Research
Project category
Raising awareness
Project submitted

Lab212 was founded in 2008, by a group of friends who all graduated in Media & Interaction Design at les Gobelins in Paris.

In 2015, they are Ambassadors representing the artistic field at the Assises de la Jeune Création, for the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.

Using new media, the collective creates installations which explore our perceptions of space and sound.

"Since 2008, we've been working on projects at the intersection of art, science and technology. Our work explores the materialisation of invisible physical events, by immersing visitors in a space whose rules are partly written and partly in the making. A critical perspective on the utilisation of technology in a fragile environmental context guides our practice."

Ombres Blanches embodies in real time the interactions with the surrounding networks, in a climatic phenomenon.

In the age of hyper-connection, the technologies of ubiquity generate, as an echo to a feeling of power (anticipation, optimisation), a certain form of dispossession (fear of emptiness, Fear Of Missing Out). The physical reality of the digital world also raises the question of the energetic and hydric resources needed for the manufacture and operation of these infrastructures, inherent in our daily routines (streaming videos, social networks, etc.). Today, the health crisis has further accentuated these remote practices (teleworking, videoconferencing, etc.).
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Ombres Blanches intentionally blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction through an exploration of the invisible physical phenomenon of radio frequency waves. The invisible signals emitted by mobile phones, printers and all sorts of smart devices leave an imprint when they connect and exchange data on wireless networks. The data flows transmitted in a space appear as visual traces from an invisible dimension that gradually form and dissolve. Ombres Blanches reveals the invisible spectrum of electromagnetic waves that surround us. The installation embodies in real time the interactions with the surrounding networks, in a climatic phenomenon. Ombres Blanches projects a singular view of the landscape, through a collective, ephemeral and multi-sensory ritual.

Water as a metaphor of networks+datas: making the invisible, visible.
Materialising non-tangible data tracked in real time: to display it in-situ (installation) and online (application).

Raising awareness: providing a tangible way of visualising intangible data.
Soften the blow: challenge our collective imagination and open the discussion to possible alternatives.