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What if You Could See Cell Phone Radiation? Making the Invisible, Visible

One of the key challenges in having people accept that wireless electromagnetic radiation— like the type that is emitted by cell phones and WiFi— is a risk, is that such radiation can not be seen, smelled or felt. That’s part of what makes artist Nickolay Lamm’s recent work visualizing cell phone radiation so interesting.

Lamm published two series of modified photos in 2013. The first was called What if You Could See WiFi? and the second was What If Could See Your Cellular Network?

In these photos Lamm works to visualize the different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation from cell tower antennas and WiFi networks. With both, Lamm worked with specialists to help him understand how the technologies worked.

Cell Phone Radiation Visualized at the Department Of Commerce in Washington D.C.
Cell Phone Radiation Visualized at the Department Of Commerce in Washington D.C. by Nickolay Lamm

These photos are both beautiful and instructive. Lamm uses different colors to indicate varying frequencies:

Although color represents its own unique, visible segment of the electromagnetic spectrum, we use red, orange, yellow and other colors to show the invisible wifi channels that make up the overall wifi signal.

The way these colors fill the image demonstrates how this type of radiation is, quite literally, flooding the environment leading to significant exposures that most people don’t even realize exist.

Not only is the risk invisible, but there are a lot more sources than you often think about. In other words, your exposures to wireless radiation come not only from your phone and WiFi network, but from many cell phone towers and WiFi networks that you probably don’t even realize exist. If people could actually see or sense this radiation, they would be more aware of the potential risks they face from exposure.

What If You Could See WiFi in Central Park, New York City
What If You Could See WiFi in Central Park, New York City by Nickolay Lamm

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