Overt Noise


Read the Project Journal

Question ///

How might low-cost satellites lead to new types of human interaction in the future?

Answer ///

A new kind of ambient social media where content is not filtered or purposeful but instead chaotic and often boring, all powered by anonymous radio waves.


This was a speculative project set in the near future when CubeSats (a satellite standard) have become cheaper and the instruments needed to communicate with them have become smaller. The project aims to challenge what we think of when talking about social networks and to examine the notion of what we find interesting in our own and other people's lives. Do we really need to see more photos of your food, or your babies face, or you on holiday? Or are we more interested in that argument you had with your mum or the time when you were doing your washing on a Saturday? This project supposes that to build empathy, we need to break the tradition of "[Empire](https://www.thedailybeast.com/bret-easton-ellis-notes-on-charlie-sheen-and-the-end-of-empire)" and embrace the shared frailty and mundaneness of human life.

How it might work? ///

There are two touchpoints of the project, The Overt Noise Listeners (free), a set of minimal jewellery pieces each equipped with a microphone and radio transmitter. The second touchpoint is the Overt Noise Speaker (expensive) which plays audio transmitted by an Overt Noise Listener. However, only the Listener closet to the CubeSat would transmit, with CubeSat rotating around the world and picking up bits of Peoples lives like a person walking down the street picks up moments of conversation from other pedestrians. All of the communication between the touchpoints is done through radio waves on the CubeSats, an analogue system where nothing is stored and no data is mined.