The Environing Air: A meditation on communications structures in natural environments.
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SPARK, J., 2013. The Environing Air: A meditation on communications structures in natural environments. PhaenEx: Journal of Existential and Phenomenological Theory and Culture, 8 (1), pp. 185-207.
Any attention paid to the positioning of telecommunications installations in natural landscapes usually relates to the aesthetic impact. However, such paraphernalia, particularly when contrasted with “natural” surroundings, invites us to think beyond the visible. Through Heidegger’s accounts of Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit, as well as his later articulations on “Nature” as it is subjected to the ordering principles of Gestell, this paper aims to highlight the overlaps of the natural and the technological worlds inhabited by communications structures, considering the relationship between the human and the natural realms, through the uncertain electromagnetic phenomena that envelops the two. The essay is underpinned by the extended phenomenological description of an encounter with such technology that includes, following Anthony J. Steinbock’s outline of a phenomenological approach that might begin with the “facts” of the “everyday sciences”, some reference to the basic concepts of physics involved in transmissions technology.