Signal Culture – Owego NY

I got to spend two weeks as a toolmaker resident at Signal Culture in Owego, upstate New York. I spent the time working with flexible, waterproof solar panels, made by powerfilm, sewing them into a demin jacket, like a Battle Jacket, so they charge a lipo battery which in turn powers a pi zero, via a spakfun battery buddy. The pi zero runs OpenWRT and acts as a open wifi relay that allows me to share my mobile data with anyone who would like to connect to the internet. Before they do, they get captured by a splash page with a user agreement and a few other bits and bobs. Originally it created a WLAN with a chan message board on that anyone nearby could contribute to, but I decided it would be nicer to share my web connection (I have a stupid 20gb plan that I never use). I also had a play with some ESp8266 COM boards (see next post), but they proved to a bit too basic for what I wanted.

While I was in Owego I got into researching one man bands, reading about how monks habits embodied how they acted in the world, and thought about how we access and share (on) the network. How are we generous? How do we make ourselves vulnerable? The last mile connection process is fairly uniform across the world, perhaps necessarily, how could it be problematised through an artwork?  It was all unconstituted experimentation towards my PhD, which is increasingly moving towards how ethos is established on the web.