Representing Digital Noise
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This chapter focuses on ‘stumbling’, a routine technique employed by makers to look for and represent digital noise. I describe how it constructs a version of suburbia without fences, houses, roads or power lines and argue that stripping away familiar and mundane symbols of power and ownership serves to collapse distance between people and infrastructure, reconstructing in its place an uncertain digital landscape that relies as much on social cohesion and technological imagination as on hands-on technical skill. This landscape however is not neutral or empty. Upon erasing some actors, others become visible. Analysis suggests stumbling attempts to represent a feral version of WiFi and that this (local) lens reveals power dimensions within these shifting invisible landscapes.
KeywordsShared Spectrum Wireless Noise Cordless Phone Digital Noise Electrical Tape
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