2016 January 18
Students
Digital Water:

The project “Digital Water” is based on the fact that both the digital and the analog world are based on water. As described for the digital Cloud, a network of servers, water is needed to guarantee fast streaming times and to cool the data center’s servers and to deliver energy.

Since 1896 the World Meteorological Organisation publishes the International Cloud Atlas featuring different forms of clouds that can be described and observed. Now a third volume is published to describe the digital Cloud and its manifestations, the data centers, spreading around the world.

The first described digital Cloud is situated in Upper Austria in the village of Kronstorf. Here, the data center has not been built but Google purchased 78 hectares of agricultural land in 2008 for a future “Cloud factory”. Since the purchase of the land, 13000 trees were planted, a Canadian kindergarten teacher was hired and five housing projects were realized. A small village on the countryside is waiting for its Cloud to come.

The work is divided into two parts, the first consisting of the three volumes of the International Cloud Atlas. Volume I and II were published by the World Meteorological Organisation and Volume III by Gruber, featuring the digital Cloud, missing in the first two volumes. The connection between water and the Internet is described, allowing to give the virtual world a body and actual weight.

The second part of the installation is a video dealing with the Google property in Kronstorf. Takes from various perspectives from the surface and drone sequences from above, characterize the status of the Cloud to come. The long shots combined with the sound, especially composed for the Kronstorf cloud, convey a feeling of waiting and anticipation. In contrast to the usual speed of Internet videos, each take is 30 seconds long, alternating with shorter takes of 15 seconds. The story of the place and the people becomes inevitably connected to the Internet and the floating in space.

more info as .pdf
Installation, Video HD, stereo, 14:35 min, 25 fps, 3 books 300 x 215 mm, 2016
Photo: Christina Gruber