“magicbike is a mobile WiFi (wireless Internet) hotspot that gives free Internet connectivity wherever its ridden or parked. By turning a common bicycle into a wireless hotspot, Magicbike explores new delivery and use strategies for wireless networks and modern-day urbanites. Wireless bicycles disappear into the urban fabric and bring Internet to yet unserved spaces and communities. Mixing public art with techno-activism, Magicbikes are perfect for setting up adhoc Internet connectivity for art and culture events, emergency access, public demonstrations, and communities on the struggling end of the digital-divide.
Wireless Bikes as Art Objects
Wireless bikes are a tacitly surrealistic Ready-made that playfully reframe our assumptions about the interplay of technology and art. The tradition of Ready-made objects in modern art is credited to start with Marcel Duchamp’s “Roue de Bicyclette” or “Bicycle Wheel,” his first “Ready-made.” The bicycle’s role in art seems to be that of a transcendent object acting as a vehicle to interface conceptual and material existence, virtual and real existence, if you will. At first, “wireless bikes” seem like an incongruous montage and technological farce. But, importantly, this technological farce out performs the market in providing Internet access to vital urban spaces. As art out-maneuvers commerce, we see that our technological boundaries are products of our imagination and not truly technological at all. Riding down the streets or parked, these bikes become beacons for play and inquiry. They ignite our imagination about the boundaries of bike and computer, mundane and hi-tech, street protest and online activism, mediated play and spectacle.”