The ‘off.networks’ mailing list started as an attempt to bring together researchers, activists and artists that work on the idea of an offline network, operating outside the Internet. Such networks could range from artistic projects (eg. deadrops or wifitagger) and "personal networks" (eg PirateBox.cc or subnod.es), to community networks (eg commotionwireless.net, nethood) and large city-scale mesh networks (eg. guifi.net, freifunk.net, awmn.net.). The first assembly of off.networks took place at the CCC last month. In their second scheduled meeting during Transmediale Festival, the members of this network wish to make their first effort to build a diverse and dynamic community around the design, implementation and deployment of offline networks in different contexts.
They wish to reflect critically on the role of such local networks in shaping the evolving hybrid urban space and in addressing the threats which are posed by internet corporations and surveillance states on citizens’ privacy and freedom of speech. In other words: How can the under construction "offline networks" allow us to join forces in reaching our common visions without sacrificing pluralism and independence? The answer might not be so simple as offline networks are subject to hybrid design and therefore require the collaboration between people with different expertise; they are context-specific and thus need to be easily installed and customized by non-savvy users; they have to compete with more and more ambiguous commercial initiatives that now pop up claiming a similar logic.
The session will open by short presentations by existing members of the off.networks community: Aram Barholl, Jeff Andreoni, David Darts and Matthias Strubel, Andreas Unteidig, Sarah Grant, Panayotis Antoniadis and Ileana Apostol. Other artists and practitioners taking part in Transmediale will also join and an inclusive and open-ended mode of discussion will follow. The stage will be given to participants from the audience who will have 2-3 minutes each to present their thoughts and ideas forming a big round table.
More information: www.transmediale.de