The first thing you notice is how loud it is—a shrill, almost metallic buzz that fills your head. Given unprecedented access to one of the world's largest and most secure data centers, Timo Arnall shows us that the "cloud" is not ethereal, but big, hulking and incredibly loud.
Internet Machine is a six-minute, multi-screen film shot inside one of Telefonica 's data centers in in Alcalá, Spain. (It's currently on exhibit in at Big Bang Data in Barcelona until October 26.) You can watch the trailer above and, most of all, hear the whirring and throbbing of the internet's hidden physical parts. This white noise is neither pleasant nor harmless for data center workers who must deal with the constant drone.
"In this film I wanted to look beyond the childish myth of 'the cloud', to investigate what the infrastructures of the internet actually look like" writes Arnall. "It felt important to be able to see and hear the energy that goes into powering these machines, and the associated systems for securing, cooling and maintaining them." The cloud is made of machines, and the machines are loud. [Timo Arnall via Alexis Madrigal]