Dark cloud thinking

Lizzie Homersham



Earlier today at the Extinction Marathon, James Bridle spoke of 'the cloud' as a ‘terrible metaphor’ - suggesting fluffiness and light, it helps us forget the weighty physical infrastructures supporting everything we do online. The cloud, in Bridle’s words, 'is a lie': ‘everybody’s talking about it as it it’s some magical faraway place, instead of a bloody great shed on an industrial estate.’ He previously expressed this thought in his 2013 project 'Occupy the Cloud'

The cloud also comes under scrutiny in Kev Bewersdorf’s essay ‘FEAR NO EVIL: Reversing the Flow of Internet Expansion’. According to Bewersdorf, companies such as Google, who offer cloud computing in the form of Gmail and Google drive, and the many websites who’ve followed their powerful example, encourage ‘growth that cannot be sustained’. We no longer have to delete anything, such is the capacity, freely offered, for infinite uploads and never having to get rid of an email again.

‘FEAR NO EVIL’ considers some of the physical and psychological consequences of expanding, rather than recognising some sort of limit to how we use the web. Opting always to archive or sprawl, refusing to let go, is like growing new cells without letting any of the old ones die, says Kev. It might be better to contract.

Meanwhile, over at ziron.extinct.ly UBERMORGEN express the corporate positioning of the cloud as ’SECURE - EFFICIENT - FLEXIBLE’ - 'TAKE OFF.'


'FEAR NO EVIL' is short essay on the self, the internet, and extinction. Click on the image of Kev at Grand Canyon here to read it in full.

More in depth writing about the cloud can be found in Metahaven's 3 part essay, titled ‘Captives of the Cloud’.