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WiFi, from Antiquity to Today
With or without a €30/month plan, several billions of times per second, billions of different messages pass through each and every one of us: ultrasounds tickling the cat at our feet, ultra-rapidly blinking colours, elementary particles shooting out of the Sun, telephone conversations from your next-door neighbour, entire series of bits hijacked by the NSA, voices from the dead buried in radio static, indiscernible salutations from extra-terrestrials…
The air we breathe is an opaque smoke full of meaning that transparent Indians use to greet us. Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware, a book exploring ubiquitous computing, highlights the necessity of having, “translators, people capable of opening these occult systems, demystifying them, explaining their implications to people whose environment and lives are more and more conditioned by them.” Artists and hackers, wave-tweakers and Ghostbusters work to reveal the invisible, to make us feel the electromagnetic flux running through our flesh.
By examining the countless ways we are wirelessly tied to the world, we might be able to begin imagining the impalpable surrounding us – what was called Ether in the past, and is now on special in every pay-as-you-go 4G plan.
Marie Lechner is a former journalist for the French newspaper Libération. For the past fifteen years, she has followed the evolution of digital culture.
Created by Marie Lechner
Visuals by Cédric Scandella
With the support of Institut Français and the Embassy of France in Ireland
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