Performance at Betonsalon for the show "Nous ne notonspas les fleurs dit le Géographe", oct 2010 - jan 2011
online catalog:

Data Centers, a prismatic view on the world's representations

Data Centers are places where a huge amount of datas can safely be stored and retrieved, either from the internet or from private intranets. These centers exist all over the world, although always in a specific relation to their environment, both because of their high need of energy and invisibility. They fulfill their duty of hosting and processing datas for states, companies, universities and private persons, mostly in anonymous places, ignored by their users. Websites, image and simulation processing, database updating and maintaining, virtual world hosting: all kind of tasks end-users don't want to know about. Sometimes medias report a specific situation, or how much energy one of these centers consume, but they remain in the background of daily affairs, constantly serving our demands for processed information, hosting a huge part of our daily affairs and means of representation of this world. Rendered anonymous, sometimes hidden far under earth, these new objects, simultaneaously highly present and totally hidden, offer a concrete and metaphorical reading of our representation of the contemporary world.

It is through one of their most recent and spectacular production that I got in touch with it. Wondering out of which dream factory Avatar has come out, the performance conference at Betonsalon in Paris present an inquiry on these objects and their relation to deserts and geography, understood as utilitarian and objective representation of the world. Although I focused on one specific center that just opened in Aubervilliers, the northern periphery of Paris, presenting an innovative combination of datacenter and scientific greenhouse studying plants under climate change conditions, a series of thematics unfolded. So far i enunciated these thematics as a group of paradoxical couples, each of which is more of less present in any of these data centers.

Photos by Ouidade Soussi-Chiadmi