Matadero Madrid center for contemporary creation
TERRITORIO ECTOPLASMA: On the impact of Digital infrastructures on the Environmental, Social and Mental Ecologies
Check the programme here.
Convened by architect Marina Otero Verzier, Territorio Ectoplasma is a week-long critical studies programme that looks at the territorial dynamics and often overlooked spaces and bodies that sustain the activity of metropolitan centers. In particular, it focuses on the digital infrastructure making possible our datafied, urban life.
In the last decade, the world has experienced unprecedented production and consumption of data. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global data will grow by 23 percent annually from 2020 to 2025. The data-driven developments in planning, climate science, and healthcare, as well as the further implementation of AI, the Internet of Things, and the Metaverse, will only exacerbate this condition.
Every byte of data has an impact. The carbon footprint of digital devices, the internet, and the infrastructures supporting them account for about 3.7% of global greenhouse emissions, a percentage that, according to some estimates, will double by 2025. Whereas corporations, industries, and institutions have significant responsibility and agency, individual data consumption, particularly in Western countries, is also responsible for the current state of affairs. We are contributing to environmental destruction when taking and posting selfies, sending emails, streaming videos, playing video games or scrolling through screens. Even the unnecessary images we keep in storage, out of sight, release tonnes of CO2.
Screens connect to the cloud. Far from immaterial, this cloud is made of data centers, fiber optic cables, factories, and minerals that are transformed into desirable consumer objects and mediate the interruptible supply of images we consume daily. Companies and users crave for even faster circulation and consumption of information. Yet these connected and low latency futures are at the expense of environmental destruction and dispossession of communities worldwide, whose territories and bodies are rendered disposable in the name of progress.
From November 28th to December 4th, participants of Territorio Ectoplasma will gather at Medialab Matadero to comprehend the convoluted workings of the digital infrastructures and explore imminent futures non dependent on extractivist industries. We will learn more about how iPhones are produced and by whom, the socio-political and environmental implications of the data centers that act as their storages, the minerals that compose their batteries, the energy infrastructures that make their functioning possible, and the bodies that are at stake in all these processes.
Together with local and international speakers, including Estrella Alfaro, Lara Almarcegui, Bartlebooth, Ibiye Camp, JoámEvans/Montescola, Mel Hogan, Instituto de Estudios Postnaturales, Sebastian Lehuede, Thandi Loewenson, Victor M. Sanz, Michael Marder, Margarida Mendes, Godofredo Pereira, Naomi Rincon Gallardo, Rafico Ruiz and Chen-Yu Wang we will engage in conversations, debates, enjoy lectures, screenings and performances, conduct field trips and participate in workshops, rituals and celebrations. We will engage with situated, embodied, open-ended, and collaborative practices leading to a different way of being in the world.
Territorio Ectoplasma is structured in 7 consecutive sessions between 24 November and 4 December. Each session will address different but interdependent dynamics and will be addressed by renowned guests and experts. We recommend attending all sessions to unleash the full potential of the programme.
SESSION #2 (28/11): INTRODUCTION TERRITOTIO ECTOPLASMA
SESSION #2 (29/11): DATA WAREHOUSING
SESSION #3 (30/11): ENCARNED EXCURSION (by pre-registration only)
SESSION #4 (01/12): COLLECTIVE VISUALISATION LABORATORY (by pre-registration only)
SESSION #5 (02/12): MINERAL EXTRACTIVISMS
SESSION #6 (03/12): GREEN COLONIALISM AND ENERGY DREAMS
SESSION #7 (04/12): ECTOPLASM EXORCISM (by prior registration only)
WHO IS IT TARGETED TO?
We welcome applications from anyone who is curious about how the working of their phones, laptops, and other digital devices connect them to larger territories and have an effect in communities and ecosystems. Those with a research interest in data politics, digital infrastructure and extractivism, and who want to find alternative models for the production and consumption of data are especially welcome.
- Estrella Alfaro
- Lara Almarcegui
- Ibiye Camp
- Joám Evans, Montescola
- Mél Hogan
- Institute for Postnatural Studies
- Sebastian Lehuede
- Thandi Loewenson
- Victor M. Sanz
- Michael Marder
- Margarida Mendes
- Marina Otero Verzier
- Godofredo Pereira
- Naomi Rincon Gallardo
- Rafico Ruiz
- Chen-Yu Wang
Course fee: Free of charge.
(Registration for the course implies compulsory attendance at all sessions and activities.)