19 October 2006

Increase the Size of Your Box


Public Space

Deutsche Telekom has been busy over the past year erecting large grey boxes on Berlin’s pavements in order to remind this city’s citizens that the virtual world of the internet is mirrored by a very physcial counterpart. These new boxes which contain broadband cable nodes differ from their older counterparts in that they’re four times as voluminous. The one pictured below right came up to my shoulder, meaning it’s around 1.7 meters high.

Grey boxes
Before (left) and after (right) futher technological improvement

An interesting and counterintuitive development when you consider that nearly all information-technological developments of the past 50 years have been characterised by miniaturisation.
I recently had the good fortune to catch an electrician closing one of these boxes, and was just able to catch a peek at the contents. To my amazement a good 80% of the box was filled with air, with all the technical bits confined to a couple of neat looking patchbays. Obviously this is about something else altogether, and we are not meant to know. My guess is that the people profiting from these monstrous grey boxes are Berlin’s multitudinous and prolific taggers who might now profit from an enlarged surface area on which to apply their imaginitve markings.