Spatial Politics

reclaiming the right to the city



Oct '11 - Dec '11

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    Strategies for Public Occupation - at the Storefront for Art and Architecture

    By fischerrandom
    Dec 16, '11 10:15 PM EST

    A small project I did, which will be displayed at Storefront as part of their exhibition on Strategies for Public Occupation. 

    P2P Occupation

    Within the last two years China, Egypt and Syria have shut down telecommunication systems to immobilize emerging civil dissidence, demonstrating the liabilities of these centralized networks. If we consider the spectrum airwaves that transmit these communication frequencies an extension of our natural right to free speech, then such deprivation violates notions of civil liberty.

    P2P (peer-to-peer) Occupation studies the propagation of a 'shadow' Wi-Fi network that circumvents official telecommunication networks to offer a safe and public internet for citizens. Such an occupation works by introducing existing software that converts existing telecommunication devices into Wi-Fi access nodes. By networking these nodes together they dynamically route information back to physically connected network connections. This decentralized wireless access can be used to convey and then proliferate safe, open internet.

    Since multiple users are incentivized to dynamically configure themselves to changing conditions, such a system is evolutionary in principle. An attempt at eradication will only weed out weaker configurations and in turn promote the growth of successful ones.

    Note: P2P Occupation presents an fictional narrative of network propogation (in which each user networks to two more users) in Beijing. Yet its operative tools and tactics are not in themselves speculative. The software to turn ones laptop into a wireless hub exists, like Connectify for Windows 7, and can be used to today.

    Check out other strategies for public occupation here:


    • arielvazquez2

      wow I was working in a similar mapping strategy for occupied wall street 

      Dec 17, 11 3:36 pm

      The time-space mapping? Probably my favorite representation technique. 

      Was yours for the exhibition as well, post a link I'd like to check it out. 

      Dec 17, 11 9:53 pm

      In related news have you heard about the US State Dept backed Internet in a Suitcase project. It has recently been demoed at the Occupy DC site? Essentially applies the idea of P2P internet and wireless nodes in a secure stand-alone, plug n play package. Wired covered here

      Dec 18, 11 11:06 am

      Thanks for the link Nam! I read about the Internet in a Suitcase project a while ago, from the New York Times, but I didn't realize they were testing it in DC.  

      Also, the latest iteration of One Laptop per Child (still in development I think) uses wireless meshing for internet access.

      There are vulnerabilities to the system: cascading failure due to overloaded mesh networks, the danger to initial beta testers...but I feel like its only a matter of time before this starts to take a life of its own.  
















      Dec 19, 11 10:23 pm

      I'm working on something slightly similar.

      By the way that last link, goes to an empty page.

      Jan 2, 12 6:04 pm

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About this Blog

This blog is a way for me to think through an idea of architecture as a vehicle for advocacy. I want to be rigorous about this; to understand our everyday spaces as a product of dominant political orders, and then unpack notions of space and politics as a way to critique them. I adopt this method in order to establish a logical foundation from which to construct a model of critical architecture. This can play out in many ways, I'd like to use the blog as a way of structuring these ideas.

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  • fischerrandom

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