Internet Machine: Cloud Datacenters as Art

I recently came across this video from titled ‘internet-machine’, which gave me a new perspective on how I view datacenters. Up until this video I had never considered the possibility of datacenters being considered art.

The video shown above is just the trailer for a larger exhibition, and is 6 min 40 sec long. It uses a combination of digital photography, photogrammetry and 3D animation, to allow viewers to visually experience the infrastructure of the internet, and more specifically, datacenters.

The video was made by Timo Arnall, a creative director at BERG in London, and research fellow at the Oslo School of Architecture & Design.

The focus of the documentary is centered on one of the largest datacentres in the world, run by Telefonica in Alcalá, Spain. The film captures various components of the datacenters architecture, with a slowly moving camera. On his website, Arnall writes that, “The subtle changes in perspective encourage contemplative reflection on the spaces where internet data and connectivity are being managed. In this film I wanted to look beyond the childish myth of ‘the cloud,’ to investigate what the infrastructures of the internet actually look like. It felt important to be able to see and hear the energy that goes into powering these machines, and the associated systems for securing, cooling and maintaining them.”

He notes that the security surrounding the datacenter was more than he had experienced at any airport and provides an intricate description of the datacenter down to the materials of the walls and the sensation of the temperature controls.

Internet machine is part of BIG BANG DATA, an exhibition on the Cloud and Big Data. The exhibition is open in Barcelona from 9th May 2014 until 26 October 2014 at CCCB, and again in February-May 2015 at Fundación Telefónica in Madrid.