24 March 2011

homeless camp, broadband fiber optic lines

Underneath Chestnut Street, on Schuylkill Banks. Philadelphia.

Long-haul, interurban broadband fiber-optic lines are often buried alongside railroad tracks; their presence is typically indicated with a white plastic post with a orange or black top that will say "Do not dig here" and "Property of ___ Corp."  We as the end user on a computer or smartphone do not have or need to know what places the data is traveling through to get between our screens and the servers that house the website we are using, but the digital data is moving through space, buried under these markers. In the photo above that I took on late morning Tuesday, there is a small homeless dwelling situated alongside one of these fiber cable markers. Does the inhabitant know what he or she is sleeping on top of? Do they have a mobile phone to access the digital infrastructure that is passing directly beneath them? In this space of motion--information, railroad, and automotive above on Chestnut Street, this temporary camp was situated. This becomes an urban juxtapositions of life in the network society.

1 comment:

  1. This situation is very common also in our society here in Quezon City. We have some people living in side walks, cart or even under the bridge. Next time, I will also post some article like this on my blog.

    Society in Quezon City