Call for proposals – Finalists

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Proposal title

Grow Your Own Cloud

Cyrus Clarke & Monika Seyfried

Designer / Educator / Artist / Researcher



Short description

Grow Your Own Cloud is a new service that helps you store your data nature's way - in the DNA of plants. We are at the forefront of the development of the new cloud, one that is organic, rather than silicon, and which emits oxygen rather than CO2.

Extended description

Today, global data centres use more energy than the entire UK, and by 2025 they will use more than 20% of our Global Energy.

In a post-industrial age of information, data is the new oil, and companies that deal in data are the largest in the world. Just like oil before it, our demand for data has a serious impact on the environment. The greenhouse gases emitted by data consumption already rival the aviation industry, and look set to grow exponentially.

We’re locked into a new consumption cycle, driving us towards a future of β€˜data warming.’ Our ecological awareness might be rising, yet our behaviours and technologies seem to lead us towards the same outcomes. How can we intervene and draw attention to something as seemingly abstract and immaterial as data consumption, before it’s too late, again.

Grow Your Own Cloud is a a new biotech venture storing data nature’s way, in the DNA of plants. This new type of cloud has the potential to store all of the world's data in just 1 kg of DNA. It works with organisms that create their own energy. It stores data in a format that never grows obsolete and emits life giving oxygen instead of CO2.

Grow Your Own Cloud creates a new materiality around data, beyond the silicon and rare earth metals that are extracted incessantly. It looks beyond perceived reality by embedding one of our most highly valued commodities, data, within nature to not only prevent further destruction, but present new opportunities for the expansion of natural habitats and the regeneration of the environment.

To bring this into reality, we transformed a local flower-shop in Copenhagen, Denmark, into a decentralised data-centre. Set within this environment, we explored plants and their unique data storage characteristics with each visitor, introduced them to scientific concepts and new possibilities to unlock deeper curiosity and provoke ethical considerations.

Related media/links

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March 21-23, 2019

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