Free Mesh Networks. Two Cases from Chile

Valparaiso Mesh 01

This article starts with a short introduction to free networks, followed by a summary about free networks in Latin America. The article then tells in more detail the story of two attempts at making free networks in Chile, in both cases linking the idea of free networks with specific artistic and socially engaged goals, reports Ignacio Nieto, who has been involved in both projects.

The Incomplete Paradigm Shift

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June 18th 1999

This chapter takes a bird-eyes' view of history, locating the developments of wireless community networks within a historical transition from industrial to information society. Following the thesis that this paradigm shift has become stuck, creating serious obstacles for realizing the emancipatory potentials of information society, the conclusion can only be that those obstacles need to be overcome in order to realize “Society in Ad-hoc mode” as a positive, really existing utopia.

Towards the Network Commons (Conclusions)


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This draft chapter summarizes my findings. Based on a recent trip to Germany, where vibrant new communities have triggered discussions about what makes the essence of Freifunk, I am suggesting that the future of wireless community networks lies in the notion of the Network Commons.

Gedankenkunst – László Beke and the Art of Ideas


Book presentation Laszlo Beke

On the evening of April 8th 2015 at Secession Vienna, the book IMAGINATION/IDEA - The Beginning of Hungarian Conceptual Art. The László Beke Collection, 1971 was presented. László Beke is widely recognized as a key figure in conceptual art in Hungary and internationally. In 1970-1 he sent out an invitation to all his artist friends to send him a documentation of work on an A4 sheet. The incoming work he collected in a book. Due to the vicissitudes of the Communist Hungarian regime in the early 1970s this „collection“ could only be viewed privately, in his home, or at exhibitions abroad. This collection, after it was published as a facsimilie book in Hungarian in 2008, IMAGINATION/IDEA has now been made available in English in a book produced by Tranzit Hungary.

The Museum of Forever - Interview with Robert Adrian

Robert Adrian at Fields

In 1979 the Vienna-based Canadian artist Robert Adrian started using the I.P. Sharp telecommunicatiins network for art purposes. Access to this network had been organized by Bill Bartlett in the context of an event called Interplay. Bartlett had gained access to the network of the company I.P. Sharp Associates for the first time in 1978 through the Toronto based artist Norman White (cf. Shanken 2003. p. 61). In 1980 Bartlett organized he Artist's Use of Telecommunication conference at SF MOMA.

The Obsessive Utopia of Mesh Networks

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Paul Baran Network Topology

„The sleeping beauty of mesh has been kissed into life by the community,“ explains Elektra in her book. The community has made it possible to have decentral wireless networks which connect small local cells, automatically connected by intelligent software (Aichele 2007 p. 15)
In this chapter, a closer look at developments around mesh networks is taken, based on a study trip to Barcelona, supplemented by further research. This chapter also asks the difficult question, how the mystifications of technology might be overcome. Are better mesh routing protocols really the answer to all problems?

The Mixed Political Economy of Guifi.net

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This chapter throws a closer look at the different models used economically by Freifunk and Guifi. In particular, it investigates in which ways the fact that Guifi has a mixed political economy contributed to its growth. This sub-chapter also investigates the terms in which network freedom is defined and with which other ideas and measures it is connected.

Free Networks Between Countryside and City, between North and South


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Mariposa Hill, Valparaiso

The previous chapter has delved into some of the bigger implications of free networks in relation to the overall historic development. It has described the overall development as an incomplete paradigm shift, characterized by an ongoing structural crisis of information society. This chapter starts with the question, what makes a network sustainable? On the surface of things it looks like the conditions for growth are better in rural areas, where there are no good alternatives provided by the telecommunications industry. Examples in Spain, Germany, as well as Greece show that there can be successful models that bring together community initiatives with municipalities. This appears to have worked less well in the USA where after a good start in the early 2000s hardly any wireless community networks exist. It seems that the relationship between rich and poor in the US is almost like the relationship between the overdeveloped world and the poor nations of the South. This chapter finishes with a more sustained look into selected projects from the global South.

The Future of Memory – the Contemporary in a cul-de-sac


Ines Doujak, excerpt from Loomshuttle Warpaths (2013)

In Vienna, slowly the – still relatively new - director of Kunsthalle is showing his profile. After many years under the populist autocrat Matt, Nicolas Schaffhausen brings some well needed profundity to Kunsthalle. This latest exhibition, The Future of Memory, while well conceived, exposes also the dilemmas of hegemonic neo-conceptualism, which I call the contemporary.

Letter to Fidel and Raul Castro


Dear Fidel and Raul,

recently I had the opportunity to visit Cuba as a tourist. I would like to use this opportunity to send you a letter. I really do not want to be seen lecturing two great leaders such as you, by offering my unasked advice, but my suggestions are simple and constructive as you will see, so please take the time to read this letter.


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