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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Sky Ear, Usman Haque

Sky Ear is a collection of hundreds of helium filled balloons with mobile phone technology, electromagnetic sensors and colored lights that are activated by the sensors. by calling the phones attached to the balloons the electromagnetic fields created activate the lights creating interactive performances. The Balloons diffuses the light giving the lights a glowing aesthetic. A new space ‘Hertzian Space’ as Haque calls it becomes percievable.

Usman Haque Sky Ear
Sky Ear September 15, 2004 at Greenwich Park.

Usman Haque Sky Ear Project

“As people using phones at ground-level call into the cloud (flying up to 100m above them) they are able to listen to distant natural electromagnetic sounds of the sky (including whistlers and spherics). Their mobile phone calls change the local hertzian topography; these disturbances in the electromagnetic fields inside the cloud alter the glow patterns of that part of the balloon cloud. Feedback within the sensor network creates ripples of light reminiscent of rumbling thunder and flashes of lightning.”


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