INNUMERABLE TRANSMISSIONS: WI-FI®FROM SPECTACLE TO MOVEMENT

Adrian Mackenzie
<span title="">2006</span> <i title="Informa UK Limited"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="https://fatcat.wiki/container/biaoo7uc6zfulotgj6lecqlmhm" style="color: black;">Information, Communication &amp; Society</a> </i> &nbsp;
This paper analyses Wi-Fi, a mundane wireless networking technology, in terms of a cultural flow of meanings concerning movement of people and data. The principal analytical problem addressed in the paper is how to make sense of the profusion of images, practices, events, objects, and social groupings associated with Wi-Fi. Rather than treating the abundance as driven by the IT industry's desire to find the Next Big Thing, or as hype that covers over social realities, the paper suggests the
more &raquo; ... e of analysing the different ideas, ambivalences, frustrations and problems with Wi-Fi as part of an ongoing contestation of the meaning and value of information infrastructures. Using a model of culture drawn from (Hannerz, 1992) , it presents Wi-Fi as an occasion to deepen understandings of how technologies become kaleidoscopically visible, and how very different forms and organisations of social life attach to them. The paper characterises this flow of meanings in terms of three dimensions: ideas or modes of thought, forms of externalization and social distributions. It concludes that Wi-Fi offers a significant opportunity to analyse how different movement of people and data affect each other, and what kinds of social processes are associated with these movements. In relation to Wi-Fi, a particularly important cultural form is a citizenconsumer hybrid.
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