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Invisible Networks / Invisible Narratives


Developed for the students of Interface Design, Bauhaus Universität-Weimar


Exploring media spaces. How do invisible communication networks within a city intersect with the physical spaces around us?

The workshop Invisible Networks / Invisible narratives focussed on the private use of wireless technologies, everyday consumer devices, utilizing the unlicensed part of the radio spectrum.

The wireless phenomenon was examined by a historical and political overview surrounding radio propagation. As a counterpart, the philosophical and psycho-social narratives of borderline areas between the public and private, physical and mediated, place and non place were explored. Writings by Michel de Certeau, Marc Augé, Gaston Bachelard, Georges Perec were introduced.

Theoretical discussion of the subject was complimented by a ‘hands-on’ section of the workshop where a practical research was conducted through locating, examining and documenting some of the invisible networks within the city of Weimar. Workshop participants were introduced to different equipment and methods for revealing hidden layers in the environment. In a series of walks through the city, individuals took different roles in discovering, gathering, editing together and finally presenting their personal recorded traces of networks within the city. Using this information, project proposals were created that narratively explored the effects & affects of these invisible layers and how they could possibly be incorporated into the more physical aspects of our daily lives.

Methodologies for this workshop were presented as a paper with the title: Dousing for Dummies: methods for raising public awareness of immaterial environments at BritishHCI2006 and in collaboration with the fellows of  MEDIACITY.