Hertzian Explorer


Hertzian Explorer relates to the notion of “hertzian space”, a term used by designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby to refer to the invisible physical space created by electromagnetic radiation radiating from electronic objects. It is also a work that aims to combine art and science by making the invisible more visible.

Electromagnetic field meters are used to measure the intensity of radiation from electronic devices and generate unique visualizations of hertzian space. Different field strengths, their spatial arrangement, and duration of radiation will influence the visual result. Celluar automata and generative designs will reflect the changing and diverse nature of hertzian space and also explore the relations in this ecology of hertzian space and virtual organisms. Inviting interaction is another key element of this installation. A video feed of the user's face is distorted based on the intensity and duration of exposure to mobile phone radiation. The user can choose to continue to watch his or her "face" being transformed or stop the phone call.

To highlight the illusive and unconventional nature of hertzian space, this project also incorporates a sculptural aspect consisting of an array of EMF meters attached to webcams suspensed in midair. The unorthodox juxtaposition of webcams to the emf meters reflects both the strangeness of hertzian space and the difficulty of perceiving it. It reflects the fact that in order to see hertzian space, we need to look at it indirectly through instrumentation. These elements of sculptural interest gives clues as to how the piece technially works, creating more involvement and interaction with the piece.

By bringing to the human scale electronic signals and radiation, the work hopes to help people discover a new perspective on this mysterious but now permanent aspect of our contemporary world, a world immersed in the fleeting and invisible waves of information flow.