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Leaping from the Eiffel Tower in a wingsuit. Scaling Shanghai Tower, one of the world's tallest buildings. Camping on the roof of Philadelphia's abandoned Eastern State Penitentiary. These scenarios are real examples of explorations, adventures, and infiltrations of the built environment. Thousands of people around the globe engage in the recreational activity of place hacking: climbing, wading, jumping, or even ironing their way into prohibited or obscure spaces.
Why do they do it? Is it the exhilaration of trespassing? Is it discovering a new perspective? Is it roving through surroundings in an unpredictable manner? Place hackers say it's all these things--and more. They're pushing the boundaries of exploration in much the same way that Neil Armstrong, Jacques Cousteau, and James Cook travelled into the frontiers of Earth and outer space.
Modern-day place hackers investigate storm sewers, subway tunnels, abandoned power plants, derelict hospitals, deserted towns, high-security skyscrapers, and temporary, obsolete, or even active spaces. They go solo or in groups. They plot their safety and success or intentionally throw caution to the wind. They plan entrance and exit strategies and provision with gear, or they just go for it--without any planning. For some, the experience is about flying under the radar, being in the moment. For others, it's about capturing stunning images and posting them on blogs and Instagram.
In Place Hacking: Venturing Off Limits, Michael J. Rosen takes readers across the globe to witness the challenging exploits of place hacking. The journey includes a conversation with archaeologist Bradley L. Garrett, a world-renowned urban explorer, as well as encounters with infiltrators, builderers, subway runners, rooftoppers, vertical campers, drainers, and human flies. They're all participants in a world of investigation, where whatever is standing can be turned on its head for a second look.