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Data as Logistics

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Momentum Magazine, Issue 3

Authors: Neeraj Bhatia & Cesar A. Lopez

Editors: Alejandro Carrasco Hidalgo, Eduardo Cilleruelo Terán, Ángela Molina Calzada, Laura Puchades del Olmo

Date: 2019


“Digital data flows unbounded through global networks in an increasing effort of seamless connection — blurring and dissolving most forms of traditional boundaries—between work and life; public and private; across national lines, contested territories, to outer space. Yet, the physical footprint of data is highly concentrated in a series of static points—or data servers—that are networked together. Despite the unfettered access they digitally enable, these bounded nodes exist within non-expressive anonymous buildings in peripheral geographies to ensure security. The cost of this security is a segregation of the physical presence of data from everyday life–making the spatial and environmental costs of digital data abstract.

The Archive of Collective Data intersects data storage with a public logistics port to consider how we might connect with the spatial footprint of our data. As new models of data storage and movement emerge, such as Amazon Snowball, the project unpacks the ramifications of diffusing a bounded type. Moving and dispersing smaller packets of data produces a new form of security that integrates data storage with public life as populations, commodities, and data are transferred simultaneously in a port. The collapsing of these networks frame a node of public life within a territorial system that is constantly cycling data. The excess heat from these servers is collected in the sculpted ceiling plane to curate a botanical roof garden of the various global biomes, eliminating the distance between public users and environments that might otherwise be distant.”

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