Eye Land Band Width is a live-in experiment for seeing the whispers of planet Earth as it imperceptibly oscillates and vibrates under our feet, as it ‘speaks’ in unintelligible ways. The project begins with a simple question: What would it mean to measure the bandwidth of an island? What could it be to measure the bandwidht of São Miguel, in the Azores? The island-boundary is treated as a membrane allowing a range of information to pass through, from digital data in the form of underwater cables, solar energies from sunlight, and atmospheric exchanges from oxygen and nitrogen in the air.
Building on this idea, that the island has an informational bandwidth, we directly measure the vibrational information of the island itself. Two cabins compromise a two-point interferometer. Situated in eye-line from one another, and using lasers and mirrors, they measure the seismic activity occurring between the two stations. Interferometry is a method and apparatus well known for mapping cosmic waves from the early days of the universe and is used by physicists to measure the signaletic difference in flux between two points. It is also, in a way, the basis of human sight.
Part of Shift Register’s Earth Observatory Array series, this work draws on histories of science, media, and cartography, to explore the constructs and limits of human knowledge and perception of the earth. Expressing these fluxes, formerly-known-as-natural in terms of information, returns and reroutes, the planet’s material infrastructures, their processing and value, their exchange and trans-mutableness, speaks to ability to comprehend the world in its entirety. Observing the range of frequencies that are propagated by the island speaks to our human bandwidths of perception and consciousness. At the same time, listening to what lies below the surface of the earth opens and transforms our understanding of what the world is and potentially could expand to be. What are the limits of our ability to sense the world?
Eye Land Band Width was commissioned into the public the Azores Walk&Talk programme by Dani Admiss. Special thanks to Luis Brum, a human island of support and creativity in his own right.