Since the application of radio waves and glass fiber lines, we’ve got used to communicating without delays between any of the furthest points on Earth. In outer space, however, things would be very different. The speed of light, which liberated communication on earth, becomes a limit out there. Radio signals can only travel at speed of light, but the vastness of space causes enormous delays in communication. From Earth to the Moon we ‘just’ have to wait a few seconds for a message to arrive. However, a message from Earth to Mars has to travel for 5 – 20 minutes, depending on the planets’ positions in orbit around the sun. This means that a ‘direct’ response comes back in 10 to 40 minutes! What consequences would this delay in communication have for our relations with settlers on other planets?
Technique: interactive multi-media installation
Commission: BIO50 (24th biennual of design), Ljubljana, Slovenia
Exhibited: BIO50, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2014); Cosmodrome, Genk, Belgium (2015)
Publication: BIO50 Catalogue
Credits: Phone Home Inc. is created in collaboration with Mats Horbach.