Arbor Antennarum

Raphaëlle Kerbrat, Metal antennas, electronic device, motors, copper, 2021

For several years now, large metal columns, clad in plastic and looking like plants, have been discreetly installed in our landscapes: antenna trees. These camouflage 4G-5G relay antennas were set up by the mobile phone industry to blend into the landscape.

In this installation, the thin metal structures are small antennas that capture the electromagnetic environment (2.4GHz) around them. A network of copper cables extends from the antennae and feeds them, like roots. The needles on each of the devices indicate the strength of the signal received by each of the antennas. They reflect the instability and permanent fluctuations of the radio landscape. Determined by each structure, the frequency range captured varies slightly according to its geometry.

The structure of the metallic branches was generated using an algorithmic process: DLA (Diffusion-Limited Aggregation), which is based on Brownian motion to create mathematical models of dendritic structures. The antennae were created by iteration, implementing the data obtained from the capture of the previous antenna to generate the next one; giving a certain orientation to the inflorescence of its branches.

Crédits photo : © Raphaëlle Kerbrat

Arbor Antennarum, 2021 – Raphaëlle Kerbrat