The Weight of Information

Satellite, public events, software, radio, Low Earth Orbit, 04.12.12 — 14.05.14

The Weight of Information is an orbital artwork based on a pico-satellite originally launched on April 19th 2014, and scheduled for re-launch in 2017.

A 2cm x 2cm low-cost autonomous satellite is launched into low earth orbit. The satellite is placed on a decaying orbit and slowly spirals back to Earth. During the orbit the satellite fills its memory with data from its on board accelermoter and magenetometer sensors. The data is immediately deleted and meta data about the quantity of information deleted is transmitted back to ground stations on Earth. The Weight of Information Satellite (TWOi) exists in a universe where gravitation is caused by information, and it wants to escape its spiral trajectory back to Earth. It attempts to climb to a higher orbit by deleting information, to ascend by forgetting. On Earth a series of events called Meet to Delete are staged where people gather to delete their personal information, burning or shredding paper work and clearing data storage in order to and help the satellite by making the world a little lighter.

The project has been manifested as a series of events and exhibitions and one orbital attempt in 2014 as part of Zachary Manchester’s Kicksat project on ISS resuply mission CRS-3. After a successful launch and separation orbit the satellite failed to achieve autonomous flight. The orbital attempt is documented in the gallery exhibition Meet to Delete Ground Station

A second launch and event series is scheduled for 2017 including a public ground station installation in Civic Square in Wellington.


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  • Zachary Manchester
  • Jason Quinn
  • Mike Paulin
  • Andrew Hornblow
  • Richard Lowenberg
  • Ian Ground
  • Christian Pointer
  • Poul Fuxjaeger
  • Mike Newmann
  • Whanganui Astronomical Society
  • Whanganui District Council
  • Mini-Kits
  • Annick Bureaud
  • Creative New Zealand
  • Brit Bunkley

The project development was kindly supported by Creative New Zealand.