DAI & MKMK closing session at the Jakarta Biennale 2015 ~ Nov 30, 14.00 PUBLIC TALK by Brett Neilson: From Warehouse to Data Centre: Contours of Extraction, Finance and Logistics

29.11.15 | tag: Jakarta

Jakarta Biennale 2015 symposium venue
Gudang Sarina
Jalan Pancoran Timur II no. 4
Jakarta Selatan

Following the DAI / MKMKA Academies Seminar, Poetics and Infrastructures of Political Form, there will be a talk by Brett Neilson open to the general public. Brett speaks at the Sarina warehouse of the Jakarta biennale at the invitation of Marina Vishmidt and Rachel O’Reilly’s ‘How to Do Things with Theory’ seminars at the Dutch Art Institute.

From Warehouse to Data Centre: Contours of Extraction, Finance and Logistics

Otherwise known as server farms, data centers are box-like architectural facilities that accommodate computer and network systems that store, process and transfer digital information in high volume at fast speeds. These facilities are the core components of a rarely discussed but rapidly expanding data storage and management industry that has become critical to global economy and society. Focusing on the spread of data centers in the Asia-Pacific region, this talk considers what kind of ‘research object’ a data center is.

Data centres have a complex genealogy that spans the archive, the cable station, the mainframe room and the warehouse. By tracing this genealogy, I argue that these facilities are not only technical infrastructures but also institutional forms that are increasingly crucial to the making of territory and expression of power.

Working from an empirical base, some tentative theoretical and methodological proposals about how to study data centers will emerge. In particular, we will consider how, aside from their technical and social dimensions, data centers generate ambient conditions that become part of their political effect. An approach that emphasizes the networked materiality of these infrastructures, enables us to stay in touch with geopolitical and political economic analyses that take seriously the category of capital.

About the speaker:  Brett Neilson