(...) Is the internet a place? If it is, it’s more like an airport than an apartment. More like a library than a study. More like a brothel than a bed. When wireless internet was all slick and shiny and new, a lot of us were pretty excited about its potential as a kind of lubrication, or glue, for neighborhoods and communities, parks and protests. Neighborhood nodes and free-WiFi in the park were these new kinds of idyllic place-networks — parties online you could bring your body to, and all your friends (online and off). There are different kinds of glue, of course, and Facebook seems a rather thin and runny one. “Going” to a FB “event” has become more a statement of support than a statement of intention to create place, encounters or moments together (online or off). But there are still ways of making these non-places special. There are secrets we can share with one another, dark corners where we can escape the onslaught of 'likes' and upworthiness.
free wifi here appears in Issue 7.1 of continent.
Editor's Note: Jamie Allen's next morning return flight out of Berlin was funded through the Palais des Beaux Arts commissioning program for in-situ critical writing.