Cyberpunk Sci-Fi Culture Today: Place Hackers ¦ Urban Explorers ¦ Roof-Worlders

Europe – place hacking “capital” of the world.



Structures of iron, steel and stone old enough to have begun the process of visible decay.  Such things exist in Russia and North America.

It seems some of the International Place Hacking scene prefer Europe.

Europe has a softer touch when it comes to any official response to trespass.

Climbing a Shard of Glass - photo posted on Bradley L. Garrett website place hacker co uk

Climbing The Shard - London - Image from Place Hacking Website - click to go there

Place Hacking – Urban Exploration.

Seems a natural enough concept. An impulse based on the human desire to map boundaries and understand the immediate terrain. We do this when we’re out in the rural environment.  But it seems for many people this impulse is switched off when we engage with the urban environment.

Why is that?

Exploring places that exist beneath the feet of every citizen of a city, necessary to the continued existence of that city and yet places that most citizens don’t get to see.

Roofworlders.  Reminiscent of the fab little novel called Roofworld (1988) by Christopher Fowler; people who bypass physical and electronic barriers to fulfil a desire to reach the top of the tall structures that dominate so many cityscapes.

Expression of personal will in the face of behavioural codes injected into mass society.

Avoid the fun polize (Health & Safety Executive).

Darwin had a point about evolution.

And you will not survive evolution if you don’t encounter risk.

On the flip-side.

There is a cost to rescuing people or recovering bodies when things go wrong. And what is the balance between putting yourself in danger (free-will) against the danger to others their actions may create.

I guess that comes down to common sense: these folks hopefully embrace a policy of doing nothing that might cause injury or failure of critical city systems.

Yet I suspect that large sections of society, law-enforcement and local policy makers would state that common sense is not enough of a safety-measure.  And there’s the rub.

Video – Crack The Surface II

Here’s a video from Bradley L. Garrett’s website – . “Crack the Surface II” produced in collaboration with SilentUK and Sub-Urban:


Here’s a short blog article by Christopher Fowler “Roofworld Comes True“, focussing on the Roofworld scene in Moscow.


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