Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa), 2015

John GerrardFarm (Council Bluffs, Iowa) (2015), video simulation

Section: Out of Control Room

Digital networks are perceived as completely abstract and ephemeral. But in reality the constantly growing flow of data needs huge data farms to be stored and processed. These farms occupy large surfaces in remote areas of the world and consume an enormous amount. Farm (Council Bluffs, Iowa) renders such a physical infrastructure visible. The building, created by the company Google houses many thousands of internet servers and processes a significant portion of the global information load. Working with a team of modellers and technicians, the visually and conceptually intricate structure has been remade by hand as a hyper-realistic simulated world. Animated through the use of a gaming engine, the building shifts from a physical reality to a model. The camera in the resultant world moves at a profoundly slow pace, both revealing and appearing to scan the site. The building is placed in light orbit of a year, allowing night and day to travel over the portrait across an annual cycle.

The work is on view at Palazzo Ajutamicristo.