LittleNets, part of Eyebeam-Off-The-Grid, is a show of alternative networks, offering different ways of being and making online, curated by Ingrid Burrington. Rather than wire Eyebeam’s temporary Governor’s Island space with internet access, we decided to set up some site-specific mesh networks with things that might be useful to have on a remote island–-simple communication tools, artworks, and games. Visitors to the island can view and contribute content to these networks. We’ll also be hosting workshops and events to teach people about different kinds of networks and how to build them.

As the free and open web becomes increasingly concentrated and opaque in the hands of a few companies, the networks of LittleNets suggest that another net (or a multitude of nets) is still possible.

• September 6, 12-3pmSubnodes workshop with Sarah Grant
• September 20, workshop with Dan Phiffer
• September 27, 12pm: talk by Aaron Straup Copethis is my brick / there are many like it but this one is mine.


Commotion Wireless – a project of The Open Technology Institute

Commotion is a free, open-source communication tool that uses mobile phones, computers, and other wireless devices to create decentralized mesh networks. Commotion provides a way for you to share your Internet connection with the people around you, but it is not a replacement for your Internet connection.

Subnodes – Sarah Grant

The Subnodes project is an open source initiative focused on streamlining the process of setting up a Raspberry Pi as a wireless access point for distributing content, media, and shared digital experiences. The device behaves as a web server, creating its own local area network, and does not connect with the internet. This is key for the sake of offering a space where people can communicate anonymously and freely, as well as maximizing the portability of the network (no dependibility on an internet connection means the device can be taken and remain active anywhere). – Dan Phiffer is a project designed to be replicated: purchase a supported wifi router, download the software, and follow the DIY guide to create a new open wifi network, OCCUPY.HERE. After logging on, you are redirected to, a “captive portal” website offering a space to anonymously share messages and files with only those people close enough to connect to the wifi network.

Projects On The Networks

gif.local – an online exhibition curated by Rachel Binx

Although the gif format is 26 years old, there has been a renaissance in the past several years within the format. What once was used in the realm of under-construction notifications and loading animations has transformed into a bona-fide art form.

The idea behind gif.local was to build a setting where gif art could be properly displayed and appreciated. By distributing the gallery “display” onto visitors’ devices, we hope to create a space where viewers can have the time and personal space to consider each piece of art. So take some time, wander through these gifs, and see how far the gif medium has come.


INSA, Lorna Mills, Rebecca Mock, Zack Dougherty, Laurène Boglio, Patakk, Guillaume Kurkdjian, rrrrrrrroll, Pamela Reed + Matthew Rader, Joe Winograd, Diane Jong, Carl Burton, Dave Whyte (Bees & Bombs), Josh Ethan Johnson, Unmaru, Hayden Zezula, Yancy Way, St Francis Elevator Ride, Reza Ali, and Slater Combes

90.1 House FM-Sarah Grant and Hellyn Teng

90.1 House FM is a local area mesh networked soundscape broadcasting over a low FM frequency. The network consists of a handful of Raspberry Pis, distributed throughout the house, tucked away in discrete corners. Each computer has a unique voice that it broadcasts over local airwaves. Walking from room to room, the audible signal from each Raspberry Pi will fade in and out as you move towards and away from each station. Put on one of the provided wireless FM headphones and tune into an aural sensory experience on 90.1 House FM .


Rachel Binx is a data visualizer, developer, designer, and mathematician. She has co-founded Meshu and Gifpop, two small companies that explore creating one-off physical objects from the data that each person finds meaningful. Previously, she worked as a design technologist for Stamen Design. In general, she’s a fan of turning bits into atoms, and vice versa.

Aaron Straup Cope is Canadian by birth, American by descent, North American by experience et Montréalais au fond. He usually just tells people he is from the Internet. Aaron is currently Senior Engineer (Internets and the Computers) at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Before that, Aaron was Senior Engineer at Flickr focusing on all things geo, machinetag and galleries related between 2004 and 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he was Design Technologist and Director of Inappropriate Project Names at Stamen Design, where he created the prettymaps and map=yes projects. Aaron spends a lot of time thinking about archiving social software and looking glass archives, in the form the Parallel Flickr and Privatesquare projects.

Sarah Grant is an artist focused on building meaningful connections between people to each other and their environments through computer networking and open source technology. She is an alumna of NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program, former Eyebeam resident and current Adjunct Professor of Digital Media at NYU Polytechnic.

Dan Phiffer is a programmer and artist interested in hackable, inexpensive computer networks. During the day he works at the New Yorker magazine, helping to build and maintain the recently-redesigned Dan spends his free time making art projects that use computer networks as their material. He has had his projects exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and SFMOMA and has received commissions from Rhizome, Triple Canopy, and Turbulence.

Hellyn Teng is a New York based artist working at the intersection of sound and digital media. Currently studying at the NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program, she is interested in exploring how concepts can be realized through uncommon media.

Projects: subnodes
People: Aaron Straup Cope, Commotion, Dan Phiffer, Hellyn Teng, Ingrid BurringtonSarah Grant, Rachel Binx
Tags: Governors Island