From September 2005 to June 2006 a team of thirteen scholars at the The University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication explored how new and maturing networking technologies are transforming the way in which we interact with content, media sources, other individuals and groups, and the world that surrounds us.
This site documents the process and the results.
At the World Summit on Free Information Infrastructures, Community wireless network activist, Julian Priest (of informal.org, and author of the seminal State of Wireless Networking in London) speaks here (in the attached Quicktime movie) about Alexi Blinov's project Hive Network in which he has modified an off-the-shelf ASUS, Linux access point to become a stand alone streaming media device, capable of organizing with other such devices into authomous ad-hoc networks.
As Jo-Anne Green from Networked Performance mentioned in a recent blog entry on the project, "[this] group of independent programmers, artists and electronics specialists imagine swarms of intelligent network devices which all collaborate, facilitate media applications such as audio and video streaming and create clouds of free bandwidth using ad-hoc networking protocols."
This social potential of self organizing ad-hoc networks (as discussed in Stephen Johnson's book Emergence) sets my imagination adrift. Some years ago I worked with a 3D artist on an unrealized biomimetic locative media project, that was to have been inspired by the concept of chemotaxsis (by which ants map space through random emergent behavour, so as to find their way toward a source of food). The ideas were expressed in a talk, that I've just discovered, was blogged on the October 17th entry of Andreapolli's Weblog.
Alexi's Hive Network appeals to some anarcho-libertarian faith some media activists share in adhocracy, according to which social order could somehow emerges from chaos. My (sometime) almost mystical belief in this concept seems to emerge through what I've experienced in my own creative process, which works very much like this. But, I suppose, I have much less experience of this kind of thing at the level of complex social systems (with the glaring exception of Burning Man)
1.4 meg Quicktime movie: Download file