10 kg From the New Factory

2014, Box of destructed hard-drives from Google data center, collaboration with Johannes P Osterhoff

Photo: Ole Reißmann

Photo: Ole Reißmann

A box of destructed hard-drives we received from Google’s data center in Saint-Ghislain, Belgium.

The origin for our interest in these objects was Google’s own documentation Datacenter’s Inside Look – depictions of spacious, cool server farms in saturated Google colors.

A photograph of this series shows destructed hard drives, the data centers’ material basis. For us, they are the fundamental elements, facilitating services and interfaces which are used for our modern communication and the organization of knowledge.

In their disassembled and dysfunctional state, as an afterglow of the data center factory, they remain loaded with meaning and provide not only a glimpse behind the shiny interface layer of Google’s applications, but also point to the actual sites of digital life.

Photo: Olia Lialina

At the Internet Black Market in Berlin, 2014 we tried to sell 10 fragments. When launched in 2004, Google’s share was priced at $85.

Video stills from Google’s “Google data center security” video on YouTube:

Google’s data center in Saint-Ghislain, Belgium as seen on Google Maps. The data center is operating under the name of Crystal Computing: