Without data centres the world stops. Flights are grounded. Financial markets close. The internet grinds to a halt. Data centres accommodate computer and network systems that store, process, and transfer digital information in high volume and at high speeds. These infrastructures are the core components of a rapidly expanding digital storage and management industry that has become critical to global economy and society.
Focusing on data centres in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney, this project investigates how these installations reformat geography and power within, across and beyond Asia's subregions and borders. Far from approaching these sites merely as locations where data centres cluster, the project rethinks the relations between infrastructure, space, and difference. Data centres recast these relations in ways that scramble established boundaries between economy and politics.
The project uses servers in all three sites to trace network topologies and ontologies that remake relations of labour and territory within regional and global circuits. Attention to the operative power of data centres highlights the processes of extraction and exploitation that animate and drive today's capitalism. Beyond metaphors of the supply chain or the production network, the project seeks a lexicon and politics adequate to changing configurations of data, labour, and territory.