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Clouds, Interfaces, Pollution, Climate Crisis

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Søren Bro Pold - Lecturer

Christian Ulrik Andersen - Lecturer

Cesar Escudero Andaluz - Lecturer

Joana Moll - Lecturer

When exploring contemporary interfaces of e.g. Facebook or Google through an iPhone, there is no way to see the gigantic infrastructure of cables, cloud servers and power structures working behind the user interface. Compared to earlier PC interfaces, users have even less access to experience nor understand where the software is located, which kind of software processes that are running, where their data goes nor how it impacts the interface. While this is an issue for data and leads to data pollution such as in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, it is also an issue materially and on an environmental scale. If the PC user had some sense of the electricity consumption and resulting pollution of the PC, contemporary users have more or less no access to understanding or influencing the consumption and pollution of current cloud services, like searching, using social media, accessing cloud storage or consuming streamed content.

This panel will discuss how this can be changed. How can we create more awareness among users about the environmental costs of cloud computing? How can we measure power consumption and pollution of networked cloud services? How can we create models for ‘green’ clouds? And how can we imagine an interface that instead of hiding and distancing the pollution is more transparent about its effects on both data and carbon pollution?

The material for the discussion will be artistic projects that in different ways explore climate crisis interfaces. Examples are Joana Moll’s CO2GLE, DEFOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREST, Scott Rettberg and Rod Coover’s ToxiCity, Shelley Jackson’s Snow, HeHe’s Nuage Vert, Michael Saup’s AVATAR, Martín Nadal and César Escudero’s BITTERCOIN, the worst miner ever.
29 Nov 2018

Event (Conference)

TitleInterface Politics
LocationBAU Centro Universitario de Diseño
Degree of recognitionInternational event

ID: 137586436