Trees, Birds, Sunburn and Other Digital Interruptions
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When you take WiFi out of ‘hotspots’ and into the city itself it comes into contact with a range of social, technical and environmental actors. The network is stable. It has operated for over a decade and continues to grow in size and strength. Yet, members encounter an array of interruptions in the form of trees, birds, bugs, thieves, technical complications and weather. I show how rather than ignoring or tidying them up, WiFi makers build them into the network. This chapter explores how disconnections serve to connect makers to new ideas, people and places, signalling the possibility that the group’s ability to deal with constant indeterminacy and multiple realities affords it durability. Air-Stream make WiFi not in spite of interruption, but because of it.
KeywordsAccess Point Social Negotiation Computer Equipment Sticky Tape Electric Fence
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