Crystal Computing (Google Inc. St. Ghislain)

Root Event

Schaufenster in die Stadt Videorama
Crystal Computing (Google Inc. St. Ghislain)
Crystal Computing (Google Inc. St. Ghislain)
© Ivar Veermäe 2013

Data in the Cloud seems to be disembodied. But in reality, it does have a physical manifestation, albeit a small one, on the hard drives on internet servers. To cool the servers requires massive amounts of energy, so the data is stored in huge centres that look like factories, complete with chimneys releasing large clouds of vapour into the atmosphere. One of the largest data centres in the world with close to 300 000 servers is in St. Ghislain, Belgium, where Google Inc. uses a code name, Crystal Computing. Ivar Veermäe was not granted permission to visit the centre, so he filmed it from a distance. The distance makes the physical location of the data take on a magical quality, like an unattainable paradise, but with unfavourable auspices.

Ivar Veermäe, 09:19, 2014, EST 2014