Clouds above / cloud below 

Clouds above / cloud below is a project that explores the entanglements between digital and physical clouds. It is the experimental outcome of a 3 month research project into climate science and data.

Clouds are the last and least known element in modeling just how hot our earth will get in the near future. Clouds are also elements that travel across space and time and touch every human and nonhuman life. However big or small, they start cascades in our present and future climates. So our future climate is connected to the deeply complex structures of clouds - but it is just as connected to “the cloud”, as it describes our digital infrastructure. The digital cloud generates positive feedback loops all the way around back up to clouds again through "data warming", for example. Where might we intervene? How else might we envision that cloudy or cloudless future?

Using futurescaping methods developed in multiple previous projects, we have started to speculate about the other areas of that future climate: as clouds and their impacts on our current environment move, how will the digital infrastructures - from internet cables threatened by flooding to server farms heating - be impacted? And how does our reliance on digital clouds potentially impact our ability to know what (real) clouds will do now and in the future?

We used the methods of futurescaping, systems thinking and data visualisation to capture and express the research we pursued.

Date: Fall 2020 - present
Details: Project notebook & umbrella website

Role: Researcher, designer, developer.
Technologies: d3.js

Collaborator: Martin Christensen
Umbrella: Visualising Sustainability at The Royal Danish Academy