THE DIRTY CLOUD


A disruption of ‘cloud’ associations with ephemerality, lightness and virtuality, by the image of its material actualities and energy costs. Here the internet is addressed as a densely territorialised space, complete with massive data centres and undersea cabling which draws heavily on polluting fossil fuel-based power sources as well as renewable sources such as hydroelectric power stations. As Boaz Levin and Vera Tollmann have written, the web “clearly has a body: a sprawling physical infrastructure and ever-growing ecological footprint. The benign-sounding ‘cloud’ is no less than a publicity ploy for a vast campaign to centralise digital data and turn software and hardware into a black box. As our computers have become thinner, the weight of the cloud has only grown greater.”1

1 Boaz Levin and Vera Tollmann, ‘The Body of the Web’, Skulptr Projekte, 2017, http://www.skulptur-projekte.de/ /En/Publications/Publi- cations/380/Out-of-Body
Mark