Outernet Library Branch-Wave Farm

2016
Heidi Neilson

The Outernet (https://outernet.is/), an expanding library collection of data broadcast from a network of satellites in space, is a new and separate system outside the Internet. Envisioned as an open, worldwide, and collaborative platform, the Outernet allows its users to participate in the selection of what it contains. An Outernet library receiving station collects transmissions and stores files locally; those files can then be accessed by wireless devices within range of the station.

Outernet Library Branch–Wave Farm features a satellite dish antenna surrounded by Adirondack-chair-inspired seating, with a bench oriented toward each cardinal direction. The WiFi network access area is defined by a large mowed meadow. In addition to seating, the structure houses a box for electronics and a single physical library reference book located under the east bench. On entering the library area and perhaps taking a seat, a library branch visitor may read, view, listen to, and save library materials using a browser on their cell phone, tablet or computer. To browse these Outernet library files transmitted from the Inmarsat satellite, connect to the "Outernet" WiFi network and then use a browser to visit outernet.is.

Outernet Library Branch–Wave Farm is made possible, in part, with support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; and the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks to Kim Fisher.