How do we care for infrastructure?
How do and why should we care for community infrastructures?
How, why and what and for whom, is it necessary to think about the repair, care for and maintain of a wireless community network?
Established in the early 2000s, Bristol Wireless is a community network with a unique history and exciting new future. Developed so as to provide free Internet services to schools and community centres across central Bristol. As commercial Internet provision became the norm, the network became a site for community events (radio shows, musical interventions, live streaming experiments). In the last few years, Bristol Wireless in partnership with Professor Benedict Gaster (UWE, Computer Science) and Bristol City Council has also acted as a live test bed for low-powered sensor networks.
Run on a volunteer bases the network has now been inherited by a new crew, who are boldly re-imagining how we can radically rethink such network infrastructures – as sites of repair and care, heritage and learning, artistic inquiry, computational experimentation and the commons.
Supporting such visions, students from UWE’s undergraduate graphic design class, will showcase their re-interpretations of the Bristol Wireless archive. Recently complied by artist and UWE researcher, Professor Dillon – the archive, illustrates the rich, community-led, environmental progressive nature of Bristol Wireless work and its impact locally and internationally.
Working with tutors from UWE’s undergraduate Graphic Design team – Jennifer Conway, Colum Leith, Jessica Young, Gabriel Solomons and Marco Ugolini – a specially tailored, 10-week project (12.03.19-14.05.19) was developmed, in which members of Bristol City Council (Legible City, Local History and Library teams) and Bristol Wireless contributed their expertise. The work produced by the students illustrates how public structures, research, artistic practice and learning, can combine to support enriching, curriculum experiences, with a final show and tell taking place on 2nd October 2019 at the Pervasive Media Studio, followed by a reception at the Watershed, Bristol.