Wired visits Dillon Marsh's photos of cellphone masts (badly) disguised as trees, and asks why they even bother.
“There were already a wide variety of designs by the time I started photographing,” says Marsh, who completed the project over six months in 2009. “The designs loosely mimic trees that are found in the local environment.”
Meanwhile, in the American Southwest, fledgling company Larson Camouflage was responding to similar style-sensitive network companies. Larson makes scores of different “trees” but it kicked everything off in 1992 with a naturalistic pine that concealed a disagreeable cell tower in Denver, Colorado. To dress up a cell tower in plastic foliage can cost up to $150,000, four times the cost of a naked mast. Marsh is skeptical about the need for high-tech camouflage.
“Even though the gesture is well-meaning, in many cases the result seems clumsy and unconvincing,” he says of the South African technoflora. “Most people don’t feel strongly positive or negative about them, but simply view them as a curiosity.”
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.