As programs of internet surveillance have increasingly pervaded our contemporary social and political lives, resistance has become necessary for those seeking to evade online data tracking. This article interrogates such resistance through an examination of Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum’s Autonomy Cube (2014)—an installation that initiates a public Wi-Fi hotspot using the open-source anonymizing Tor network. Allowing connected viewers to retain their independence from internet surveillance, this work is often discussed as offering a model of resistance in terms of self-determined autonomy. In its reading of the interactive installation through the lens of systems theory, however, this article qualifies autonomy as at once distributed and communally managed yet sensitive to the ways in which infrastructures of wireless technologies are deeply imbricated in lived social realities. Ultimately, this article gestures toward a model of resistance that acknowledges the dissensual shifts between the local public Wi-Fi network and the global internet commons.

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