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WirelessnessRadical Empiricism in Network Cultures$
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Adrian Mackenzie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014649

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014649.001.0001

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Substitutions: Directions and Termini in Wireless Cities

Substitutions: Directions and Termini in Wireless Cities

(p.31) 2 Substitutions: Directions and Termini in Wireless Cities

Adrian Mackenzie

The MIT Press

This chapter attempts to locate the most significant figures or forms of movement associated with wireless networks in cities such as London and Taipei, and focuses on the organizing notion of the “wireless city” in London between 2002 and 2007. Although the idea of a wireless city takes various forms, it always seeks to reorganize patterns of urban movement. The chapter situates the idea of the “wireless city” in relation to moments of transition irreducible to the figure of the network. The idea of the wireless city is an attempt to organize and control wirelessness in cities. Over fairly brief spans of time, the idea of the wireless city is affected by substitutions that erode, replace, overflow, and redefine its edges. The pattern of substitutions and site-specific alterations in the idea of the wireless city is an integral component of wirelessness. If ideas such as the wireless city are lived, they are lived to the extent that their apparent fixity allows and even encourages substitutions of various kinds.

Keywords:   wireless networks, London, wireless city, urban movement, wirelessness

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