PirateBox DIY – Networking Surroundings

PirateBox DIY

The number of times we find ourselves in a public place looking for an open or accessible wireless network shows to what extent we have to negotiate our digital presence and relationship with the digital entities surrounding us. The resulting “net-scape” is definitively flat with mostly closed commercial and home-based networks. David Darts’ “PirateBox” is a self-contained mobile communicationand file-sharing device shaped like a small black bag with antennas and a white “skull & bones” sign. Using strictly FLOSS software it creates wireless file-sharing networks, which users in the area can join and then chat anonymously and manipulate lots of different digital content. The personal and “local” dimension in networks reaffirms the importance of the spatial element of communication. The proximity between the users becomes a new and possibly binding value, alongside the coveted power to access all the remote knowledge on the internet, potentially enabling alternative explicit or mediated social processes.