As Above Not Below

February 2016




A collaboration with Wesley Goatley, As Above Not Below was commissioned by STUK, Leuven for Artefact 2016, Up In The Air.

As Above Not Below is a data visualisation and sonification installation which exposes the impalpable infrastructure of international airspace, and the limits of our access to the sky above us. A large floor-projected map of Belgium displays the visual boundaries and structures of alternating air regulations – civil, military, prohibited – to expose how the country’s form is radically re-shaped through this regulatory infrastructure.

Data collected via ADSB radio transmissions from nearby aircraft allows their movements to be projected onto the map to expose how these regulations interact with our everyday experiences of air travel. The sounds of the air traffic control communications move through the installation space alongside the vessels, exposing how these regulatory conditions also determine linguistic modes of communication. When we were not granted access to these communications, they are replaced by the external sounds of planes, exposing how frequently our access to this system is blocked by the regulations themselves.