EYE LAND BAND WIDTH is a live-in experiment for seeing the whispers of planet earth as it imperceptibly oscillates and vibrates under our feet, as it ‘speaks’ in unintelligible ways. The project begins with a simple question: What would it mean to measure the bandwidth of an island, of São Miguel? The island-boundary is treated as a membrane allowing a range of information to pass through, from digital data in the form of underwater cables, solar energies from sunlight, and atmospheric exchanges from oxygen and nitrogen in the air.

Building on this idea, that the island has an informational bandwidth, we turn to the information capacity of the island itself. Two cabins compromise a two-point interferometer. Situated in eyeline from one another, and using lasers and mirrors, they measure the seismic activity occurring between the two stations. Interferometry is a method and apparatus well known for mapping cosmic waves from the early days of the universe and is used by physicists to measure the signaletic difference in flux between two points. It is also, in some way, the basis of human sight.

Shift Register’s work often draws on histories of science, media, and cartography, to explore the constructs and limits of human knowledge and perception of the earth. Expressing these fluxes, formerly-known-as-natural in terms of information, returns and reroutes, the planet’s material infrastructures, their processing and value, their exchange and trans-mutableness, speaks to ability to comprehend the world in its entirety. Observing the range of frequencies that are propagated by the island speaks to our human bandwidths of perception and consciousness. At the same time, listening to what lies below the surface of the earth opens and transforms our understanding of what the world is and potentially could expand to be. What are the limits of our ability to sense the world?

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