Infinite Infrastructure

“Infinite Infrastructure” is an interactive browser-based narrative on the physical presence of big data and digital systems on our planet. It aims to show the locations, infrastructure, statistics, and data that makes present the impact of the internet to its users. Data has been increasing exponentially as we increasingly digitise the world around us, and layer upon layer of abstraction is placed upon each quantifiable aspect of our lives. The latest iteration of this evolution of data and computation is the shifting from devices to the cloud. While this may seem that technology is becoming invisible to the user, the infrastructure needed to support this is vast and is consuming massive amounts of resources. Layers of concrete, steel, and copper weave their way across the landscape and form dense clusters of infrastructure, increasing its physical footprint to cause a form of digital terraforming of the planet. To address this issue ‘Infinite Infrastructure’ aims to make present the ongoing physical effect of big data. The artwork is a narrative browser-based work that incorporates generative elements of data within it. This data is fed from real-time sources including google maps, blockchain information, energy usage, and internet statistics, and explores the use of real-time data in interactive narratives. Users are led through this narrative and exposed to the impact that their browsing and use of the internet has on the world. The work aims to show the physical locations, current energy usage, usage statistics, and other metrics that show how cloud-based infrastructure affects the planet.

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Jayson Haebich