Cloud of Cards (ABCD), a home cloud kit


Research and Art direction by Patrick Keller and Nicolas Nova.


Cloud of Cards, a home cloud kit to reappropriate your dataself, is the principal outcome of the joint design and ethnographic research Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s), accompanied by two books in print-on-demand that document it.

The main results of the project are four artifacts [ A) - B) - C) - D) ], both digital and physical that constitute a set of modular tools (“cards”) that are delivered in the form of an open-source diy kit, freely accessible on www.cloudofcards.org as well as on Github. The purpose of these tools is to give everyone, the community of designers and makers in particular, the possibility to set up their own small size data-center and cloud, manage their data in a decentralized way or develop their own alternative projects upon this personal small scale infrastructure.


 
 

D) 5 Connected Objects


A project developed by Lucien Langton


5 Connected Objects consist in a physical implementation (among many possible) of the Cloud of Cards Processing Library and exemplifies its use, client side. Linked to the 5 Folders Cloud (both server and software sides), the five physical objects work exclusively as its complements and have no independent digital functions of their own. They seek to propose a form of natural gestures interface (“clients” for the cloud) to locally access, monitor and manipulate ones data or files in the distant cloud, with a Cloud of Cards twist…

Indeed, directly linked to the results of the design research, as well as the ethnographic field study on the uses of the cloud, the purpose of the 5 Connected Objects is to materialize in daily environments the “ghostly” presence of one’s distant data. It is to incarnate as well the “digital anxiety” caused by various problems that can occur to personal files and data when dropped in a distant cloud (fear of losing one’s files, apprehension of erasing versions, of wrong sharing or access rights, of having private files being openly published, of undesired updates, of hacks, etc.)

As a consequence, the objects, and in particular their physical manipulation, can trigger automated procedures linked to these potential problems…

Naming the outputs of our design research: Cloud of Cards, a home cloud kit

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Cloud of Cards, a personal cloud kit. Scattered 19″ hybrid server racks, elements and kit to assemble and play with. (Photo.: Daniela & Tonatiuh)

 

We’re coming close to an end with the joint design research Inhabiting and Interfacing the Clouds and we’re becoming impatient to deliver the results: a diy small scale data center and cloud kit made of various elements (both physical and digital), to freely assemble at home or in your “garage”. Accompanied by two books documenting our work in print-on-demand!

At this stage though, we’ve given new and final titles to the design artifacts and tools that we’ve been working on lately, together with the research team (for the design & code part: Lucien Langton, Léa Pereyre, Christian Babski and myself).

 

Therefore…

 

Cloud of Cards, is a home cloud kit to help re-appropriate your data self. Obviously a distant tribute to House of Cards, the toy project by the Eames (“Toys and games are preludes to serious ideas”), the kit will consist of four artifacts:

19″ Living Rack is an open source server rack with a few functional hybridations, declined in four versions. Cloud of Cards Processing Library consists in a programming tool to help develop cloud applications with the Processing development language. 5 Folders Cloud is a version of the Cloud (ownCloud) with automated behaviors and cascades of events. It is an implementation of the processing library directly linked to the outputs and learnings of the ethnographic research about uses of the cloud. Finally, 5 Connected Objects physically interface the five automated folders in our version the cloud (5 Folders Cloud) with five “smart” objects and try to embody distant data in some kind of everyday domestic presence.

I&IC design research wrap-up of sketches, towards artifacts

Following Nicolas Nova’s wrap-up regarding the ethnographic research about Cloud Computing which came to an end last April (publication to come) in the frame of Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s) (I&IC) and learning from it, it is also time for me to write a midterm status report about the design aspects of this ongoing work. It is the occasion to resume what we’ve been through along the process and highlight the most important elements.

 

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“No-Stop City” (A. Branzi, 1969) used as an illustration in the founding document of the I&IC design research.
Image retrieved from the post “I&IC Preliminary Intentions” (05.09.2014).

 

We are therefore trying to put in evidence in this article what we’ve learned so far during the process and where this might lead us as design strategies during the last year of this design study. This while knowing that our plans are to produce design artifacts and functional prototypes as results of this research process — among other ones (books, tools, etc.)

Oracle, Bastien Girshig & Martin Hertig’s workshop #3 project at Milan Furniture Fair 2016

Glad to see that Oracle, the project that Bastien Girshig and Martin Hertig made in the context of the workshop organized with Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, will be exhibited during next Milan Furniture Fair.

The project will be part of a group show entitled Poetry, organized by Logotel Italy and curated by Sefano Maffei.

Faced with the complexity of modern art, the design world tends to seek certainty and comfort. Producing, as a result, reassuring uniformities and unvarying expectations. Landscapes, environments, behaviours, democratic and functional objects that feed desire yet fail to surprise and often leave us cold.
They lack the transgressive energy of a détournement.
Or a stroke of originality bringing with it the power of poetry.

Curatorial statement.

 

More about this exhibition on www.designpoetry.it

 

Dead Drops and Keepalive by A. Bartholl

By Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Tags: 0116, D, Data, Interaction, Object, Situated, Storage Permalink 0

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Note: we mentioned the project Dead Drops (2010), by artist Aram Bartholl, in the foundation document of our design research Inhabiting & Interfacing the Cloud(s). The project was about passive memory sticks (usb keys) that were inserted into public streets walls, for anybody to drop or pick files.

A. Bartholl recently published a new project, Keepalive, which also presents a public, situated (rural or into the wild) and almost ritual interaction with files.

Both projects are presented below in more details, but what interests us in these two cases is this different interaction with files that is proposed. Both physical and that brings a different meaning to the interaction itself: a special type of (situated) interaction to access specific files. Something quite different therefore than a general purpose type of interaction (“clic” with a mouse or “tap” with a finger) to access any type of files (current situation with cloud storage).

In the continuity of the workshop we held about physical bot objects that manipulate data, “Botcaves” - Networked Data Objects, this is certainly a track we’ll like to pursue and digg into during the next steps of this project.