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Sky Ear
April 9, 2004 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Sky Ear will be a one-night event in which a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and helium balloons is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the sky. The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights.
posted by schoolgirl report (22 comments total)

 
Wow. That's totally cool, if not a little spooky.

great post, btw
posted by angry modem at 7:23 AM on April 9, 2004


Nice post and nice idea. It will be trippy and dreamy as figuring out which calling plan costs less !
posted by elpapacito at 7:30 AM on April 9, 2004


The sky will sound like 1000 cell phones ringing.
posted by event at 7:34 AM on April 9, 2004


Or if they put them on vibrate it will sound like a mob of angry hornets. In any case, its a cool idea.
posted by sciurus at 7:47 AM on April 9, 2004


This is wild. The world needs more hippydippytrippy tech experiments like this one.

I'd like to play too.
posted by chicobangs at 8:03 AM on April 9, 2004


I hear what the sky sounds like at 200 feet every day at work when I open the patio door.

But I suppose the fact that I'm hearing it from a cell phone attached to a balloon will be special.
posted by obfusciatrist at 8:20 AM on April 9, 2004


The sky will sound like 1000 cell phones ringing.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

posted by alms at 8:23 AM on April 9, 2004


don't you need someone to, you know, answer the phone?
posted by mr.marx at 8:26 AM on April 9, 2004


don't you need someone to, you know, answer the phone?

*looks quizically across the Atlantic*
posted by anathema at 8:48 AM on April 9, 2004


this? THIS? this is what the 60's hath wrought? well, maybe jim morrison will answer one of them.
posted by quonsar at 9:09 AM on April 9, 2004


Well, my phone does have an "answer automatically after x rings" feature.
posted by anathema at 9:21 AM on April 9, 2004


Couldn't you record the "conversation" and stream it for everybody to listen to?
posted by andycoan at 9:23 AM on April 9, 2004


I suspect they're going to be depressed when the wimpy little transmitters in the cell phones don't get a signal through after a couple of thousand feet.
posted by Leonard at 9:30 AM on April 9, 2004


The sound of 1000 balloons rubbing together. Could be like fingernails down a blackboard.
posted by archimago at 9:56 AM on April 9, 2004


The sky will sound like 1000 cell phones ringing.

How horrifying. I hear enough of them as it is. Interesting idea though. I can't wait to hear about all the reports of alien spaceships start rolling in.
posted by Orb at 10:00 AM on April 9, 2004


Sorry to be a spoil sport, but how the hell are they intending on getting the thing down? Won't someone think of the sea turtles?!
(still, it is a pretty nifty idea, reminds me a bit of listening to the northern lights)
posted by nelleish at 11:19 AM on April 9, 2004


Based on what they say in the link the balloons are going to be tethered to cables - not just floating aimlessly around the world.
posted by quadog at 12:04 PM on April 9, 2004


Aw, bummer. I wanna hear the sound of getting sucked into a jet intake, without the whole being-sucked-into-a-jet-intake thing.
posted by chicobangs at 12:07 PM on April 9, 2004


This is being done right by the East End of London.

Does anyone else forsee loveable Cockney rogues rubbing their hands with glee about the prospect of 1000 cell phones landing in their back garden...

on preview: qadog, oh well, if Mohammed won't come to the mountain...
posted by dmt at 12:08 PM on April 9, 2004


HHHRRRRWWWRRHHRHORROHSSSWW

Haven't mobile phone mics got some clever firmware which determines the frequencies and sound pressure levels which they respond to?

'The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights.'

It's going to look cool (possibly, notwithstanding London smog and UK precipitation) but will it sound like anything at all?

'Of course, the action of calling the cloud changes the electromagnetic environment inside and causes the balloons to vary in brightness, colour and intensity.'
posted by asok at 12:23 PM on April 9, 2004


dmt: I just pasted the link to a friend of mine who lives in Greenwich. His first comment was, and this is a direct quote, "hmmm i wonder if i could down a few ballons and retrieve some free stuff" :-)
posted by Gamecat at 6:45 PM on April 9, 2004


I whole-heartedly agree with: "This is wild. The world needs more hippydippytrippy tech experiments like this one."


Amen!
posted by ParisParamus at 7:05 PM on April 9, 2004


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