Inspirations and external content

A selection of inspirations, projects, people and resources


Here’s an ever growing selection of people and projects which have been highly influential to the development of Digital Ethereal—

Immaterials project—Touch group

Probably one of the strongest motivations for me to decide to get into this area at all. I always found the pictures Timo Arnall, Jorn Knutsen and Einar Martinussen did for the Lighpainting WiFi project as highly poetic and evocative in the way in which they approach data visualisation by combining photography and technology. The website provides with one of the most vast collection of resources around the area of Wireless and Electromagnetic fields. Digital Ethereal is greatly indebted to the work of these guys.

Immaterial fabrication—Mediated matter group

Another excellent example of cross-disciplinary effort, combining long-exposure photography, data visualisations and physicalisation, and measuring instruments. Albeit in a slightly more sophisticated setup involving a robotic arm. The project creates pictures which depict invisible information which effectively float on top of their real-world reference. In one of the explorations, these guys look at depicting the electromagnetic field generated around electronic devices, such as a laptio and a microwave. A strong influence this one.

Roomba light painting

The guys from IBR group at Braunschewig Univeristy of Technology decided to combine Long-Exposure photography and LED colour lights in visualising the trails and patterns left by the movements of the Roomba Vacuum Cleaner robots. To do this, they decided to fit severa Roomba with an LED light, and then capture their movement across a long space of time. In some cases, for instance, the image represents the obstacles the robots find, and the routine they follow in avoiding them.

Ball of Light by Denis Smith

Whilst I was in the process of creating the very early test pictures, I came across this fantastic project by Denis Smith. At some point, Dennis has made references to mystical notions of aura in choosing a sphere as recurring motif for his creations. His process involves swinging a stick fitted with LED lights on both ends, which changes colour gradually to create the balls of lights.


A very good example of success in crowd funding. The guys behind Pixelstick decided to combine data visualisation, photography, Raspberry Pi and hours of hard work to create an instrument which works as a display intended to be used in long-exposure photography.

Fictional Radio spaces

Also from the Touch Research Group, Ingeborg Marie Dehs Thomas developed a catalogue—reminiscent of medieval bestiary—of speculative shapes of different wireless protocols. The depictions are quite compelling, and puts across quite nice the enterprise of speculating for alternative ways in which wireless can be seen.

Vulture Labs

Probably one of the best references for Long-Exposure photography in flickr. Very interesting use of long-exposure that result in ghostly images of an often deserted London