Slab is an attempt to exploit a covert electromagnetic transmission channel (in this case ICMP or ping packets which are often used for simple network diagnostics) to leak spore-like the memory contents (of my running laptop, including all confidential data and passwords) across the infrastructural ether. Using a simple python script, the laptop’s 8GB of memory is read out in chunks or slabs, embedded unwitnessed in innocent infrastructural data packets, before being encoded and modulated using standard 802.11 orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) schemes, and transmitted on a 2.4 GHz carrier. These operations are not transparent to the user.

On the same computer (Lenovo Thinkpad X220) this transmission is intercepted (along with all other 2.4GHz radio trafficking) using a rather old USRP1 software radio device, resampled and filtered in
software to provide an audio signal which is now being re-broadcast online and re-encoded/decoded most likely across various interiors (and exteriors) according to similar modulation schemes and embedded protocols. The technical and infrastructural full circle is not closed.

A shorter analogue recording, demodulated using a simple detektor device is included at the end of the transmission to enable comparison outside the digital domain.

Slab forms part of a series of wayward or revolutionary active test or infrastructural source signals which inspire and activate the questionable materiality of their production, recording and onward transmission, energetic reception, reproduction and ever present decay.