Inside a cloud factory

Technology Jun 03, 2016 No Comments

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Thoreau’s quote from the 19th century seems especially fitting in the 21st. Cloud Computing is the reigning technological frame of reference—the clockwork universe of Thoreau’s era replaced with binary bits and virtual machines—that drives our thinking about how we create virtual worlds.

Contemporary technology has always influenced how people analogized the workings of their mind. Before the digital age, Enlightenment thinkers envisioned the brain as a clockwork mechanism, a divinely engineered thinking machine. Intricate and innumerable gears reacting to sensory inputs, calculating outputs according to deterministic theory.


Today, we might fancifully imagine our brains as a hybrid datacenter. Processors, RAM, and storage controlled by programing. Polished racks filled with latest, greatest hardware. Open source software regularly updated.

Is the ‘cloud’ as an ethereal, purely Platonic space for our data and thoughts, dreams and ideas? Perhaps, but this virtual space is firmly anchored to reality by the datacenter infrastructure that creates it. This short film project makes that infrastructure the star of the show, and pulls back the curtain on our cloud factories.


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