The Kirlian Device is an instrument designed to reveal qualities of wireless networks. The device is named after Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, who discovered and perfected a photographic technique to capture electrical coronal discharges. His technique has been associated with so-called paranormal research, especially that involving the study and capture of aura.
Its body is constructed in birch plywood following a stacking slices technique. The device was modelled using a 3D software, and was then converted in cutting patterns, which were then used in a laser cutter. Inside, the device is powered by an Arduino UNO board connected to a Arduino WiFi Shield. Both components process and map the RSSI values of a previously specified SSID network into colour using a heatmap colour scheme. The mapped colours are then passed to a Pololu LED strip. The operation is possible by the use of two 5V lithium batteries.
The device was designed to be used as a photographic instrument in a performative environment. The use of a 23-point led strip allows for a contrasting light, which can then be used in long-exposure photography under an array of different light conditions. The series of Spirit Photographs has been created by a performer describing the space using the Kirlian Device.