Where Cloud Is Ground offers an ethnography of the international data storage industry and an inquiry into the relationship between data and place. Based in Iceland, which is fast becoming a hot spot for data centers—facilities where large quantities of data are processed and stored—the book traces the fraught work of siting data’s material manifestations in relation to landforms and earth processes, local politics, national narratives, and still-open questions of spatial justice and sovereignty. Doing so, it unsettles techno-utopian ideals of connectivity and offers a window into what it means to live with our data, in a place where more and more data now lives.
Where Cloud Is Ground Placing Data and Making Place in Iceland
About the Book
Reviews"This magnificent first glimpse into Icelandic data centers is a must-read for anyone interested in the material, political, and cultural impacts of sprawling data infrastructures. It is impossible to think about data the same way after reading Where Cloud Is Ground, a testament to Alix Johnson’s writerly and scholarly gifts."—Dominic Boyer, Professor, Rice University
"Where Cloud Is Ground challenges dominant tech narratives about who is at the center and the margins of the global internet economy, while offering an absolutely fascinating and enjoyable world to inhabit."—Jenna Burrell, Professor, University of California, Berkeley