My name is Ale Fernandez. I live in Barcelona, Spain and I'm Chilean and Italian.
I am a web developer, artist and technical researcher.
I've lived in Scotland, Italy, Spain and England and career-wise I am interested in distributed systems and their applications to improvised performance and ecology.



Stokes Croft 2017

Stokes Croft ruled by robots in 2017

Most people symbolically see birth of the robotic race as 2015, when those famous wikicars escaped from the race course, rode into their trainers, and escaped into the desert. They do not realise that the first large scale battles to use robotic killers was not just the well known oil wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, but this had begun far far before, in these few streets of Bristol UK known as Stokes Croft, where all the new electronics factories had come to converge.

In Bristol, in the valley of dilapidated houses swathed in graffiti between Montpelier and Kingsdown there was once an insurrection, and a great battle, with augmented free running kids fighting police, then the army, each other, and finally fire juggling armies of anarchist clowns as well as the more familiar modified urban fauna we know today (at first with abortive attempts to domesticate wild Foxes, followed by the now familiar Slug, Seagull and Crow, with effects we all remember with such apprehension and shock today).

We now have discovered data and remains from the depths of the hole in the ground where that part of the city once stood, in that valley, where we had once thought all to be obliterated, consumed by a plague of nanobots, which allows us to trace this insurrection even further before this series of urban revolts and confrontation at times of deep crisis. We have found that there was a question of data, surveillance and censorship, which led to a citizens mesh network to be created using hidden transfers between generic everyday electronics.

A sad robot dreams of flightAs times became harder it would become a matter of life and death for these humans to be able to zap the data out of a drone or destroy it at the right moment if it meant being able to access the right technology or data from the net, or if it meant being able to build the weapons that really mattered. Government drones were at first well built creatures with firearms and permission to kill the citizens of Bristol. But they were soon only one of many different types of small aerial solar robot. With solar cell prices going down drones were soon running around protecting gardens, walking children to school, but above all collecting and sending messages and data. Everywhere, umbrella frames became 6 legged walking mechanisms, bottles became batteries, bags were woven into skin and all the useless old desktop computer hardware from the dot com boom and bust across the valley of Stokes Croft was stripped of motors, cameras and sensors in small and prosperous factories that sprung up as the world demanded anti surveillance tools and Bristol answered that call.

Neighbourhoods set up monitoring and data carrying devices of their own and used these at first alongside and then against the drone evidence machine, often following directions from bored staff working overtime hunched over a workstation on a bonus pay system. At first they had been surveillance devices, frequently subject to attack by thieves, vandals and police alike, but soon benefiting from the hive mind of the internet as their owners and maintainers shared their knowledge and perfected their ability for speed and dominance of the skies and land. The energy sources and human uses multiplied with each code update. The source code and algorithms for life and behaviour that most people use today, are mostly re-elaborations and reconstructions of the scripts used back then.

But it was the anger of the people that finally equipped these first bots with guns, tazers and knives, and not least with a shared universal operating system that allowed different robots to work together for the first time, and semantic learning chips equipped with a distributed survival instinct which would enable them fight a large army. But it was not to be. The whole place was completely destroyed after increasingly desperate battles between the local factions of the time, long before that tired army ever got back to the valley of central Bristol. They had had enough on their hands in their foreign battles for resources abroad, and various police mutinies, and they soon split off into various militia, before eventually inspiring and pioneering the building of the domes and shared spaces which became that centre of living birth and creation that we know this city as today.

Ironically, it was an open source recipe for a nanobot, by around 2015 being made in many illegal factories across the world, which was the demise of the Stokes Croft rebellion, and the buildings around it, 250 metres into the ground.

If you'd like to make one, take one strip of carbon nanotube, which you will use to contain all the ingredients.

Into this, put in a nanomachine, some xor gates, some dust from a magnet and an energy sucker. Mix it well.

Don't try this incantation near your local parts supply area unless you want a gigantic crater in it though.

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