SFPC: Day 27 - Radical Networks: A Conference on DIY Networking Technology

It’s been a radical weekend so far, with a Radical Comp Sci class yesterday, volunteering for Radical Networks yesterday and today, and then the Internet Yami Ichi tomorrow!


I was assigned to place signage along the street on Saturday morning. Was especially proud of this posting method:

Rad Netz sign


Radical Networks(aka Rad Netz)

First of all, if you missed any of it, there’s a livestream of all events and workshops. Thanks to The Internet Society for capturing and streaming!

We had bagels for breakfast. One of the Eyebeam staff brought fresh dill. Never tried it - I’m now a fan. During one of the talks, somebody called my name for something and I moved to quickly and one of my lenses fell out of my lens bag I had on my belt. It broke :( It don’t focus no’ mo’. Gotta get it fixed. Ah well. Photo things get broken, it happens.

Edwin Reed-Sanchez and Dehruv Mahrotra: Community Based Communication Networks in Nicaragua's Autonomous Region

The first talk of the day was from Edwin Reed Sanchez and Dehruv Mehrotra. Edwin has a research group named Saycel, which creates cellphone networks in rural Caribbean and Latin American communities that don’t have them. I first heard Edwin speak at ITP Camp this summer. I really dig what he’s doing. Glad to see him at Rad Netz.

Rad Netz sign

Brett Ian Balogh: Wilderness Wireless Workshop

Brett Ian Balogh’s “Wilderness Wireless” workshop was really cool. For about $100, you can buy a kit to create a solar-powered wifi access point in the wilderness. From this point you could host a website or serve files such as books, pictures, or any other kind of data.

At the time of this writing, the video from the workshop is not up but check the Radical Networks 2016 livestream.com account and it may be up soon.

Rad Netz sign

Rad Netz sign

Rad Netz sign

The Rest of the Day

To be honest, I didn’t really watch enough of the talks to give any thorough description of them. Was too busy making pretty pictures. Great bunch of folks though, talked to a lot of people.

Here’s my ITP Camp friend Pierre Depaz speaking about “Proactive Protest with Software”.

Rad Netz sign

Two Performances

Reading of Texts from the Network

Jeff Thompson reads the 140 web colors in succession, from brightest to darkest.

Rad Netz sign

Rad Netz sign

Ranjit Bhatnagar reading from a Google computer-vision-transcribed text of a 1980’s underground punk magazine.

Ranjit Bhatnagar reading

Daniel Temkin reading righteously, heroically from a scroll of internet domain names that begin with “dont”. See the livestream for his performance.

Rad Netz sign

Protective Rituals for Post-humans

Rad Netz sign

Sarah Friend and Rachel Boyce perform a techno-witchcraft ritual that involves bowing to a wifi router on an altar and creating a protective circle with ethernet cable.

Great fun. Really enjoyed this one. Watch it here.

Rad Netz sign

I also did video interviews with the founders of the conference, Sarah Grant, Amelia Marzec, and Erica Kermani. For archival purposes but also may be incorporated into a piece that I’m working on for Eyebeam’s Stop Work blog.

Went home when the conference ended for the day at about 9:30p. My creaky bike made it almost all the way home, but the chain popped off when I was just about to turn into the final half-mile downhill part of my ride. Walked it the 12 blocks home. Downloaded footage, showered, repacked photo things for the Yami Ichi. Slept well.


For Lunch:

A chicken cheesesteak sandwich from a bodega down the street from Chemistry Creative, the venue in which Radical Networks was held.

For Dinner:

First, pizza from Williamsburg Pizza, at the conference.

Rad Netz sign

Went to Newtown, which was down the street from the venue. A little middle-eastern/French vegetarian place. Delicious and cheap. Will definitely go back.

Rad Netz sign


Written on November 6, 2016