I&IC’s public survey of 365 links related to “Clouds” on Delicious – last updated 03.2017

Along the design research, we are going through many different types of references that we don’t necessarily post or document on the blog. We usually only post about the ones that we consider relevant to the research process, which doesn’t mean the other ones are not interesting. We’ve just decided not to digg deeper into them at some point, or to keep some of them for later.

Yet, this is a consistent amount of survey that we are leaving on the side of the road and that could possibly be useful for similar or later researches. At least a good starting point… That’s why we’ve created this i&ic_designresearch tag on delicious.

Interestingly, some new thematics emerged along the way within these links, like for example on the technological branch, the combination of personal cloud based services, peer to peer protocols and blockchains that were not on the radar when we started our research.

 

Bratton H. B. (2016). The Stack, On Software and Sovereignty

the_stack

(…). In an account that is both theoretical and technical, drawing on political philosophy, architectural theory, and software studies, Bratton explores six layers of The Stack: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User.

Each is mapped on its own terms and understood as a component within the larger whole built from hard and soft systems intermingling — not only computational forms but also social, human and physical forces. This model, informed by the logic of the multilayered structure of protocol “stacks”, in which network technologies operate within a modular and vertical order, offers a comprehensive image of our emerging infrastructure and a platform for its ongoing reinvention. (…).

 

Note: recently published by the MIT Press — as well as quoted as a work in progress by Lucien Langton in a post back in 2015 — comes this book by Prof. Benjamin H. Bratton.

It consists in a comprehensive analysis, both technical and phylosophical of what we could call “The Cloud”, yet what Bratton describes as a world scale “stack” consisting in 6 layers: Earth, Cloud, City, Address, Interface, User (and which interestingly is not so distant to our own approach considering the user, the interface, the infrastructure and the territory).

Hu T.-H. (2015). A Prehistory of The Cloud

a_prehistory

We may imagine the digital cloud as placeless, mute, ethereal, and unmediated. Yet the reality of the cloud is embodied in thousands of data centers, any one of which can use as much electricity as a midsized town. Even all these data centers are only one small part of the cloud. Behind that cloud-shaped icon on our screens is a whole universe of technologies and cultural norms, all working to keep us from noticing their existence. In this book, Tung-Hui Hu examines the gap between the real and the virtual (sic) in our understanding of the cloud. (…)

 

Note: while we do not necessarily follow Mr. Hu in all is assertions, we found it very interesting to digg into the potential past of this physical and digital construct (the cloud), even so it obviously mingles its own past with the one of the Internet, and previously with telegraph/telephone lines and railways that served as the initial paths for these “lines”.

Very interesting is also the part that presents the invention of the “user”, coming from an initial idea of sharing a common resource. It indeed seems that the “user” emerged from the ideas and technologies of “time-sharing”, then “multiprocessing”, when a single mainframe computer could remain stuck by a single user’s computations for hours or even days, sometimes for no results (error in the code).

Tweetbacks (“Twitter feedbacks”) of SDN Unfrozen Conference

Feedbacks “on the go” of the SDN 2016 Research Conference — to which we took part last week presenting I&IC, all three of us: Nicolas Nova, Christophe Guignard and Patrick Keller — can be read and seen (lots of images as well) on the SDN Twitter account at the following address and/or with the #unfrozen2016 hashtag.

 

Reblog > The cloud

Note: after a Summer “pause” mostly dedicated to a mid-term exhibition and publication of our joint design-research, we are preparing to dive again into the I&IC project for 18 months. This will first happen next November through a couple of new workshops with guest designers/partners (Dev Joshi from Random International at ECAL and Sascha Pohflepp at HEAD). We will take the occasion to further test different approaches and ideas about “The cloud”. We will then move into following steps of our work, focused around the development of a few “counter-propositional” artifacts.

But before diving again, I take the occasion to reblog an article by James Bridle published earlier this year and that could act as an excellent reminder of our initial questions, so as a good way to relaunch our research. Interestingly, Brindle focuses on the infrastructural aspects of the cloud (mostly pointing out the “hard” parts of it), which may in fact become the main focus of our research as well in this second phase. Scaled down certainly…

 

Via Icon (thanks Lucien for the reference)

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cloud_copy

 

There’s something comforting about the wispy metaphor for the network that underpins most aspects of our daily lives. It’s easy to forget the reality of its vast physical infrastructure

Poetics and Politics of Data, the publication

Note: we’re pleased to see that the publication related to the exhibition and symposium Poetics & Politics of Data, curated by Sabine Himmelsbach at the H3K in Basel, has been released later this summer. The publication, with the same title as the exhibition, was first distributed in the context of the conference Data Traces. Big Data in the Context of Culture and Society that also took place at H3K on the 3rd andf 4th of July. 

The book contains texts by Nicolas Nova (Me, My cloud and I) and myself (Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s). An ongoing Design Research), but also and mainly contributions by speakers of the conference (which include the american theorician Lev Manovitch, curator Sabine Himmelsbach and Prof. researcher from HGK Basel Claudia Mareis) and exhibiting artists (Moniker, Aram Bartholl, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jennifer Lyn Morone, etc.)

 

pbl_32a_2015

The book serves both as the catalogue of the exhibition and the conference proceedings. Due to its close relation to our subject of research (the book speaks about data, we’re interested in the infrastructure –both physical and digital– that host them), we’re integrating the book to our list of relevant books. The article A short history of Clouds, by Orit Halpern is obviously of direct signifiance to our work.