Understanding the Cloud

The cloud is a generic name for the services that store our photos, emails, work documents, and digital maps. It is a deceptive metaphor as it is neither light nor intangible.

The cloud is actually supported by an enormous network of physical servers which process and store our information, using huge amounts of energy. The presence of these monumental buildings often remains unknown to the public, hidden in wastelands around the world, yet inherently linked by a spider web of subterranean cables and electromagnetic waves.

The cloud is around us all the time, expanding constantly to match the pace of production and consumption of data. Rather than an intangible canopy, the cloud is in fact a network of very real and visible components.

The artworks on display in this chapter seek to visualise data and the physical structures that support it, emphasising its pervasive presence in the world around us.


Telegeography: Markus Krisetya, Larry Lairson, Alan Mauldin, Submarine Cable Map. Image Credit: ©Courtesy of the Artists