We are collected, crunched, and curated by surveillance capitalism as we move through real and virtual spaces. New and improved pleasures, fears, insecurities, and desires are constructed for our consumption; continually forming and reforming us along the way. We experience our own data shadows and code bodies. Our data fingerprints possess a mirror of us, with in-depth knowledge about who and what we have become.
Can we be who we are, or have become, without our quick connections to search engines, our constructed social media selves, friends, and our surveillance data? Does it matter?
Though we might imagine the internet as an immaterial, fluffy cloud, it is actually the largest coal-fired machine on the entire planet *. Our server clouds are crushing us. And with 90% of the internet being advertising, it is both paying the electric bills and simultaneously fueling global warming through increased energy use – and material consumption of the earth.
- What does it mean to be a human animal in a technologized world, where our means of connection is also a major cause of global warming?
- Can we decolonize technology and communication infrastructure?
- Can we maintain artistic integrity when we use technological tools?
- How can we work towards a connected future that moves beyond the green-washing narratives Big Tech sells us?
- Can we crush the cloud, confront the environmental challenges, design a greener internet, while remaining connected?
Cloud Crusher is the Spring the Themed Art & Technology Exhibition, where students explore these ideas and themes through their courses in Digital Imaging, 3D modeling, Art Games, 3D Animation, Moving Image Art, and Studio Practice.
In keeping with our virtual teaching and physical distancing, this exhibition will be exhibited online starting April 24th, 2020.
* Lozano, Kevin, Can the Internet Survive Climate Change? The New Republic,