An investigation into the metaphor that fronts a controversial data infrastructure, The Cloud. Is the language around data infrastructure actually symbolic or representative of what floats above us in the sky? or is the role of this metaphor not to help us, but prevent us from understanding?
How is The Cloud as a data infrastructure symbolic or representative of what floats above us in the sky?
We interact with The Cloud frequently on a daily basis through social media, streaming services, data storage, email, etc. We rarely think about how our new digital lives in this infrastructure is handled, where it goes, and what it is used for.
The findings are disturbing, not only by how much of our personal lives is unwillfully captured, stored, sold, and used by The Cloud, but how much of our daily lives is also directed by it. This story is not new, as it is one of exploitation of people, land, laws, and control. Starting with an effort Silicon Valley refers to as ‘hacking culture’ corporations’ knowledge of information technology gives them the ability to systematically understand and influence its users. The metaphor, and our naivete not to look past it, is an example of this.
This is a mapping of the current reach of the infrastructure, draped over with the metaphor, covering the real chaos of data reaches and influence.