17 September 2012

utility boxes and cellular antenna in Paris

A telecom utility box in Paris alongside Boulevard de Sébastopol. Metal boxes like the larger one on the left house and organize the neighborhood's telephone and Internet connections. Note the cut in the sidewalk's concrete leading away from the box--perhaps new fiber optic cabling was connected to this box recently.
Telecommunications equipment in Paris exists as a visible but muted element on and above the streets, sometimes even acting as a billboard for advertizing. Behind the doors of these utility boxes and latent within the radio signals broadcasting from the cellular antenna, are a collection of the communicative circulations that make up a very small part of the city's social exchange at a given moment.

A second telecom utility box in Paris doubling as a canvas for advertizing. Note the Space Invader on the wall in the far left corner.
On the top-left corner of the red brick building at the center of the photograph is a cellular antenna. Cellular infrastructure in Paris was much less visible than the equipment in the US, at least in the areas I walked through. This photo was taken where Rue du Faubourg Saint Denis and Boulevard de Magenta come together.

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