Eyes on the cloud

1st june 2014

Sam Kronick, winner of the Next Things 2014’s call, proposes this activity around the use of Internet, linked with his production residency at LABoral, where he is working on the project ‘Slow Internet Café’

In 1492, two wealthy Spanish venture capitalists sponsored an experimental voyage to spread the Catholic faith and seek new sources of material wealth in uncharted lands.

Against all odds, this venture was wildly successful and led to years of prosperity for Spain. But the ensuing wave of colonization crashed across an entire continent, ravaging the people who had lived there for generations and systematically erasing their culture, technology, and civilization from history.

A few hundred years later around the San Francisco bay (a place that still bears the name of its colonial past), the waves of imperialism refract through modern technology’s lens. In the past year, Google and Facebook have announced plans to extend the reach of their ideological platforms—computational communications on a planetary scale—to regions that are not yet reliably blessed with the warm embrace of the Internet. They will spread their gospel not by sea but by air, broadcasting WIFI signals from high-alititude balloons and solar-powered airplanes. The ultimate prize is a captive audience of a few billion data-souls who will learn to see the Internet and these massive corporate entities as synonymous, washing themselves in an ethereal downpour of information from an ever-present Cloud.

Join the Consortium for Slower Internet for a picnic and conversation to discuss this coming wave of Internet neocolonialism.

What is lost when we assume all want to communicate according to the same rules? Who is writing these rules and what are their motivations? Which voices will not be heard over a seemingly inevitable cry for progress?

Recommended Reading:

Google Project Loon
Facebook’s Internet.org – Internet.org
Kenneth Goldsmith: “Don’t trust the cloud. Use it, enjoy it, exploit it, but don’t believe in it.”
“Why Flying Internet Drones Over Africa is a Dumb Libertarian Fantasy”

Target audience: all audiences
Remember to bring food and drink for the picnic