On the Poetics of “Wireless Fidelity” (WiFi)


Rachel Rossin is a multi-disciplinary artist and computer programmer who blends media to create works that address the impact of technology on human consciousness and sovereignty.

Artist Bio

In our hyper-connected world, we find ourselves awash in a persistent, yet invisible, sea of “Wireless Fidelity” signals (aka WiFi) and other electromagnetic energy fields. Forming the connective tissue of our communication networks and systems, this energy is ubiquitous and constantly active. With only a small portion of this energy providing internet access, our routers and devices ceaselessly shed wasted energy. This wasted energy is a reliable and untapped power source. The project, On the Poetics of Wireless Fidelity proposes a series of autonomous, self-powered sculptural-combines using the aforementioned repurposed energy in order to demonstrate and expose our hidden infrastructure. Technically, the art objects will exist as self-contained and free-standing sculptural-combines composed primarily of microcontrollers (Raspberry Pi) and organic LED screens that will run an AI world (a virtual life cycle) I have programmed. The code will duplicate itself according to the amount of wifi energy harvested. Visually, the work will not be executed as a dry imagining of these principles, but rather richly articulated in congress with my previous work and artistic language. I aim to execute this work so that it can exist partially or wholly outside as public sculpture. Ultimately, On the Poetics of Wireless Fidelity is a work about human sovereignty, illuminating the direct impact of technology on our lives. In a time where an ever-increasing feeling of isolation and alienation is perpetuated by the black-boxes of our smartphones, algorithms and energy sources the project provides much-needed literacy and understanding around our dependencies.

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Award Year
2024
Status

In Progress

Production still from the Art21

Rachel Rossin

New York, NY

Rachel Rossin received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Rachel Rossin is a multimedia artist and programmer who has gained recognition for her pioneering work in virtual reality. Her multi-disciplinary practice blends painting, sculpture, new media, and more to create digital landscapes that explore the impact of technology on human psychology, embodiment, sovereignty, and phenomenology. From a young age, Rossin was fascinated with technology and art, and began teaching herself how to program at age 5. Her works have been exhibited at prestigious institutions worldwide, including The Whitney Museum of American Art, KW, The New Museum, K11: Shanghai, and the Carnegie Museum of Art. Rossin has received numerous accolades for her achievements as an artist and engineer, including a 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 fellow, and a 2019 Prix Ars Electronica. She holds the first fellowship in Virtual Reality Research at NewInc, and her work has been widely covered in the press including ART21. In addition to her artistic practice, Rossin has with prestigious institutions such as MIT, Staedelschule, and Stanford, and her work has been published in notable publications such as “Video/Art: The First Fifty Years” and “Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century.” She currently resides and works in New York City.