With informational weather, Cloud Services inaugurates a new eco-epistemology, new apprehensions of the air that enter into compositions with social experiences. The project is an exploration of the interwoven layers of the infosphere, from the physical and material to the biological, and to cultural – the processes through which we disseminate knowledge, communicate meaning, define our values and beliefs, while, through entanglement of human and natural processes, we physically imprinting ourselves into the materiality of the earth.
In explicit integration of computation and environment, Cloud Services points to the fact that we already have the infosphere in our atmosphere and in our stomachs. Analogous to proposals in fields of synthetic biology, geo-engineering or artificial intelligence, the Cloud Services proposal pits the engineering mindset against our gut instincts suggesting what is in principle possible, but what sounds audacious. We present it as a scenario for developing a meaningful discussion around the ethical, social and governance issues raised by planetary-scale technology deployments and direction of research and innovation. It is also a reflection on the present, on materialities of data and on natural systems conceived as information systems.
Cloud Services founders see this technology as a response to the ecological crisis, leading to an emergence of new structures of power arising from countering the ideal of speed, access on demand, and operability. With the natural channels of the biosphere becoming the physical infrastructure for transmission and storage of data, access to knowledge is reorganized, and new sets of networked relationships develop. Information arrives when the weather arrives, making the weather, once again, not incidental but essential to our lives. We tune in to the flows of the atmosphere, to the exchanges between the land an the air, to the energy transfers of the planetary system.
Cloud Services is based on research into the role that microorganisms play in the atmospheric biome, and the interactions of this biome with the land, and the weather. A field test of Cloud Services technology was done in Finnish Lapland.
Karolina Sobecka is an artist and designer working at the intersection of art, science and technology. Karolina’s work has been shown internationally, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Museum of China, MOMA Film, ZKM, WRO Biennial, Zero1, Marfa Dialogues NY, and Science Gallery. She has received multiple awards and commissions including from Creative Capital, New Museum, Rhizome, NYFA and Princess Grace Foundation, and Vida Art and Artificial Life Awards, and residencies at Banff, Eyebeam, Queens Museum and others. Karolina is the founder of design studio Flightphase, has taught at Rhode Island School of Design, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and University of Washington and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.