Locating Data: Big-Tech’s Data Centers and the State
The Centre for Social Data Science (SODAS), KU, is pleased to announce the second lecture in its Spring Lecture Series 2018. The theme of the series is Social Data Sciences. Speaking across domains as diverse as computational privacy, legal systems, international finance and big data infrastructures, our speakers will highlight the challenges that we face with these new social data configurations, and the methodological innovations that we need to foster in order to understand and intervene in them.
Our next speakers on Friday April 20th are Prof. Brit Ross Winthereik and Dr James Maguire, from the Technologies in Practice Research Group, IT University of Copenhagen. Please see below for the title and abstract of their lecture.
The data centers of Big-Tech have recently emerged as important socio-political figures in the renewable energy landscapes of Denmark. Locating vast swathes of data in a country that is renowned for its secure and sustainable energy supply begs the question as to the nature of the relationship between Big-Tech and the Danish state. Grounding our analysis in existing research on data and infrastructures, we suggest seeing this relation as one characterized by exchange. We argue that locating data centers requires the complex material, bureaucratic and political work of converging data and energy infrastructures. At the same time, there are also important not-quite-material elements to infrastructural convergence. Such convergence facilitates not only the exchange of data and energy, but also an exchange of perspectives through which parts of the histories and futures of the state and Big-Tech are transposed onto one another. Data centers are thus more than buildings that store data, they are complex figures that facilitate a reconfiguration of the powers and agencies of both newer (Big-Tech) and more traditional (the state) actors.
Lectures will take place in Building 35, Floor 3, Room 20 (35.3.20) of the CSS Campus, Copenhagen University, from 11.00am – 12.30pm. Friday, April 20th.
Any questions, please email Antonia at acw[at]anthro.ku.dk