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Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Friday 9/4/2004It's Good Friday, so obviously I'm not here, Any fab events will have to go unreported. Instead, here's a heads-up -- literally -- for an event due to take place on Star Wars Day, May 4th.

Friday 9/4/2004
It's Good Friday, so obviously I'm not here, Any fab events will have to go unreported. Instead, here's a heads-up -- literally -- for an event due to take place on Star Wars Day, May 4th.(as in May the Fourth be with you... oh, never mind). At 19:00 hours that evening, there'll be a lunar eclipse -- and at the same time, hovering above Queen's House at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich Park in London will be Sky Ear. Over to Sky Ear operative, Usman Haque, who tells me in an email:

"Sky Ear is a glowing cloud of a thousand helium balloons filled with mobile phones and electromagnetic sensors that emit blue, red and yellow lights when activated. Visitors will be able to dial up the cloud, listen to the electromagnetic sounds of the sky and watch their phone calls create complex illumination patterns within the cloud."

The phones will be tethered 60 metres above the ground -- earlier ideas for the Sky Ear had them floating freely, but you can see the hassles that might cause. Although I suppose one should never rule out some sort of Pink Floyd Animals-style 'accident', where a giant inflatable flying pig became mysteriously untethered on its flight over Battersea Power Station and wafted straight onto the front pages, but in these far more regulated days I wouldn't expect anything so anarchic.

How cool is that? I'll be there with mobile phone in hand, and I may even pack a few more portable transmitters to see what best tickles the glowing sky monster. No mention whether they'll be able to pick up naughty 5GHz radio networks, so we'll have to wait and see whether they'll end up as standard Ofcom equipment, to be towed behind detector vans, but we can but hope.

There'll be a webcast for those who can't attend. Details of that, and a great deal more concerning this and other fab art projects, can be found here. Highly recommended.