(Publication) Recoudre la ville avec du sans fil : Dispositifs d’encapacitation des publics et discours d’infrastructures participative

Huguet, F. (2013). Recoudre la ville avec du sans fil : Dispositifs d’encapacitation des publics et discours d’infrastructures participative. GIS Démocratie et Participation, Actes des 3èmes Journées Doctorales
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Abstract

This talk examines the issues and the sociopolitical aspects of what we call “digital bottom-up practices” which aim to create new forms of solidarities while strengthening communities across the crisis-city of Detroit (we are focusing on the deployments of the Community Wireless MESH networks using the commotion software in this city). Based on a three months fieldwork and observation within groups implementing these networks (2013, May – July), this work try to show how a networking principle, in this case, the decentralized architecture and the use of CWNs, is able to suggest a new type of democracy, a new type of relation to the public services infrastructure, to the media, to community organizing, to the fact of communication and to engagement and participation.

Today, after fundamental and empirical work both in Sciences and Technology Studies and also in Humanities and Social Sciences, it seems that we are witnessing a particular movement within the discourse on policy-making technical objects. Consequently, this movement illustrates the transition of these communication infrastructures from a « political » speech implied [Winner, 1986] into something « assumed » and claimed. And this movement is embodied in Detroit, specifically in its grass-roots processing practices based on the (distributed) digital justice principles which illustrate the « fact to live the web » differently as well as the growing of a decentralized, bottom-up economy which is one of the vectors of the empowerment of users-citizens and necessary to citizen emancipation.