This Saturday, Aram Bartholl presents KILLYOURPHONE.COM, a free, drop-in workshop at Liverpool MakeFest. Participants are invited to make their own signal-blocking phone pouch, which stops your device sending or receiving communictaions, effectively "killing" the phone.
The idea behind the project is to encourage participants to consider the impact that contemporary technology has on our lives, and the effect constant surveillance has on our understanding of privacy.
So how does it work? Using specialised Electromagnetic Field Shielding Fabrics, Bartholl will show you how to create a protective pouch for your mobile device. There are a variety of such materials on the market, and dpending on what you go for, it works aganist a range of frequencies, including WiFi signals. The material we're using this weekend will be a copper or silver coated cloth or fleece, especially developed for electromagnetic protection. As a pouch it forms a Faraday cage which blocks all electromagnetic radiation, and is ordinarily used in a military or aviation context.
Why not just turn off the device, you may ask - and a good point too! According to Bartholl, "nowadays we can't really say any more if a phone is actually turned off when you power it down. The alarm still works, right?", and for many devices, such as the iPhone you can't take the battery out, meaning that your phone could still be receiving data in when it's "off".
In true MakeFest style, the workshop is all about skill-sharing, and offers participants the chance to learn how to sew, using a simple sewing machine. Come and find us on the fourth floor this Saturday at Liverpool Central Library, and KILLYOURPHONE! Can't make it? The artist also encourages those interested to research and host their very own workshops - more details on how to do this can be found here.
Liverpool MakeFest takes place this Saturday, 27 June at Liverpool Central Library. Our FACTLab technologists in residence, and Build Your Own artist Rachel Rayns will also be demonstrating their work, and leading free, drop-in workshops throughout the day! Come say hi!