open source project, 2021

Independent and distributed communication networks are at the core of self-organized communities. Based on the idea of biological peer-to-peer networks, which explore how microorganisms like bacteria communicate and collectively act, we have built a human biofilm-like connectivity enhancer.

Resist like bacteria.

Bacteria have developed amazing technologies of distributed communication and self-organized collaboration. Large numbers of microorganisms can act in unison without any leader and their ability to communicate with other species also allows them to easily relate, skillfully responding to any situation in their environment.

However, these bacterial resistance technologies have been colonized by militarist narratives that have taken over all our spaces. Microorganisms are regarded as enemies, the entire world undertook a “war against the invisible enemy” – the SARS-CoV-2, the body is seen as a battlefield, a battle that today “we are losing against the bacterial resistance”, and the immune system is a supposed military intelligence, an idea that insults the real intelligence of the living., our open project, praises bacterial resistance in contrast to the reductionist discourse of war. We took one of the official icons of the movement in Hong Kong, the yellow umbrella, and adapted it based on an open resource created by Andrew McNeil. It is used as a parabolic WiFi antenna to improve the possibilities of communication in a decentralized way. Other than covering, hiding, and protecting the user, helps them communicate. In other words, the umbrella can act as an antenna for a repeater or as a supplementary part of a cantenna by using different adapters. We aim at facilitating the connection to alternative networks, and at the same time acknowledge the importance of seeking autonomy in our communication technologies.

Self-organizing, collaborating, and communicating in a decentralized and distributed way are some of the wonderful actions of the living to breakthrough, and that is what “resist like bacteria” means.

Project Website:

Design and script: Jung Hsu - Natalia Rivera
Based in the tutorial by Andrew Mcneil: The Wifi Umbrella Ultra long range Wifi
Digital Class - UDK Berlin
Convergence WS20/21
Prof. Jussi Ängeslevä, Luiz Zanotello

Thanks to:
Juan Manuel Anzola - Scientific advice
Lulu Hsieh - Scientific advice
Carlos Acosta - Conceptual advice
Manuel Orellana - Technical advice
ZKL - Technical advice
Brian Chang, Vais Yakarivuwan - Model