All That is Solid Melts into Data


Equal parts building and machine, a library and a public utility, data centers are the unwitting monuments of knowledge production to the digital turn. This documentary video traces the historical evolution of the structures that make-up “The Cloud”, the physical repositories for the exponentially growing amount of human activity and communication taking form as digital data. While our “smart tools” and devices for communication become increasingly smaller, thinner, and sleeker, the physical infrastructure they require grows larger, affecting and shaping the physical landscape and natural resources. The rhetoric surrounding so-called “Big Data” proclaims it as the solution to every problem faced by either governments or private industry. This film looks to the often-overlooked materiality that “The Cloud” is reliant upon, in order to elucidate its social, environmental, and economic impact, and call into question the structures of power that have developed out of the technologies of global computation.


This is a 7 min excerpt from “All That is Solid Melts into Data”; chapter 3: “The Glass House”.

Boaz Levin (b. 1989) is an artist, writer and occasional curator. He currently holds a position as a research associate at the UDK, Berlin, where, together with Hito Steyerl, Maximillian Schmoetzer and Vera Tollmann, he runs the Research Center for Proxy Politics (RCPP). Levin has presented his work internationally, most recently at the CCA (Tel-Aviv), Former West (HKW, Berlin), Recontres Internationales (Paris, Berlin), Fidmarseille (Marseille), EMAF (Osnabrück), Human Resources (LA) and the School of Kyiv (Kyiv biennial). Regarding Spectatoship, an ongoing curatorial research project co-curated together with Marianna Liosi, was shown at Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien Nov 2015-Jan 2016. Levin is a member of the curatorial team of the 7th edition of the FOTOFESTIVAL Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg (9.-11. 2017).

Ryan S. Jeffery (b. 1978) is an American filmmaker who lives in Los Angeles, California. His work has most recently been presented at the European Society for Literature, Science & The Arts Conference: Control, The European Media Arts Festival in Osnabrück, Human Resources: Climate & Infrastructure in Los Angeles California, La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, Transmodern Architecture Forum in Berlin, FIDMarseille, The Kyiv Biennial and The Independiente Festival International de Cine in Peru. Jeffery has taught film and video at Syracuse University, UCLA, CalState University, Long Beach and will be at The School of Critical Studies at The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) for the Fall of 2016.