Wireless Woodpecker

As a continued investigation into wireless signals, I wrote a wireless sniffer application and created a wireless trigger (moving towards the form of a woodpecker) that responds to wireless signals found in the landscape. The woodpecker taps out the number of wireless signals in the area, serving as a warning or communicating wireless presence.

Names of routers left on their default setting serve as a advert for a corporate Internet Service Providers, signals promising freedom "BTopen", "SKY+". Signals are encrypted, hundreds of signals are marked <hidden>, and the odd home router broadcasts a personal name such as "paul", or "Steves Router". An exploration of invisible boundaries, I have been testing wireless communication borders, searching for data and network structures, unfolding the wireless landscape. Performing a series of experiments and research tasks that help me to understand what wirelessness is, I aim to make the unseen physical, reading software and data as an everyday language which we can unpack to reveal real world physical power structures.

The Build
The device was built using an old doorbell I found in a skip. The solenoid from the doorbell was controlled using an Arduino board attached to a WiShield (no longer manufactured) purchased from ebay. The intention was for a Perl script running on a laptop or iPhone, to search for personalised wireless routers that had been given personal names, then for the laptop/iPhone to wirelessly trigger the Woodpecker, tapping that a signal had been found. I only managed to partially finish the scripts.

 
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