30kHz to 60GHz

The global network is a hardwired rhizome of cables that subterraneously link metropolitan centers, splintering out as they traverse land. At the terminals of each connection, data is transmitted. Cell towers broadcast from 30kHz to 300GHz, WiFi from 900MHz to 60GHz and bluetooth at 2.4GHz. These account for the three radios in your pocket, constantly disseminating information — creating an exponential set of data-image-permeations. Networks act upon objects which in turn reflect the properties of the network itself. An image hosted on Amazon Web Services bears the mark of the compression algorithm through which it has been funnelled. Every node on a network, when isolated, is a fragment that wears the reflection of the system from which it is embedded.

In the early 80s, Tetsuo Kogawa was at the forefront of the mini-FM ‘boom’. At the time, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication forbade the use of unregistered transmission over the FM radio band, though allowed the use of radio transmitters with very weak signals to accommodate things like wireless mics and remote control toys. The mini-FM effort encouraged Japanese citizens to develop “mini-FM stations,” using low powered transmitters. At their most powerful, transmitters could legally broadcast for up to a half-mile radius. With mini-FM a number radio stations popped up in hyperlocal areas, fostering counter- and subcultures, as well as providing a platform for political discussions within an immediate context.

As Kogawa puts it, there is a “general feeling that the airwaves belong to the government.” Hyperlocal structures like mini-FM are an example of scale-relevant networks built on electromagnetic frequencies that have an immediate and intimate purpose.