The core of the project is a military-grade high altitude Helikite balloon, flown on a tether from the roof of a car-park-slash-art-space called Bold Tendencies in London. GoPro cameras beam down aerial footage via a Raspberry Pi, and an Occupy.here darknet router provides a secure, local connection point where anyone can upload and exchange files.
Video from the balloon is released to the public, subverting the typical surveillance paradigm. To demonstrate how an “eye in the sky” can be put to meaningful public use, Bridle will use data and observations from the balloon to update publicly-edited mapping software like OpenStreetMap and Walking Papers. It’s an example of how the same technologies that feel creepy and Big Brother-ish in the hands of an opaque government or corporate institution can feel liberating and creative when used collaboratively and transparently.
“Surveillance isn’t going away, so the first step is democratizing access to it and making what it’s doing more transparent.”
The rooftop “hangar” from which the balloon is launched also houses a technical workshop and exhibition space for the project. The installation is open to the public evenings and weekends.
See the video below to learn more, or visit Bridle's website http://booktwo.org/ for more work from one of the great thinkers exploring the IoT and how its technologies are shaping the world.
Image Credits: James Bridle and Ben Blossom
Author: Ted Burnham