Climate Emergency (2020 - present)

The Climate Emergency research strand analyses the photographic image as computational object, as data circulating within networks, and its material effects.

Climate Emergency - a network with 'less > more' in its centre

Climate Emergency (2020 - present)

The Climate Emergency research strand analyses the photographic image as computational object, as data circulating within networks, and its material effects.

Departing from a similar viewpoint as the Machine Vision project, the Climate Emergency research strand analyses the photographic image as computational object, as data circulating within networks. The project acknowledges the materiality and weight of this data, its material effects and asks what alternative practices currently exist that try to reduce its impact on the planet.

While on the first computer networks the image was absent, in 2020 82% of IP traffic consisted of online video, gaming and multimedia, with images making up 75% of median page weight. The network infrastructure underlying this traffic has a growing environmental footprint with an ever growing consumption of resources and electricity, and a corresponding wave of pollution and e-waste.

Are we killing the planet by sharing cat videos or are we locked into the rapid upgrade cycle of commercial services aimed at consuming ever richer media on larger screens and more powerful computers? The project refuses the rhetoric of progress with its corresponding dismissal of alternatives based on scalability and universality and instead aims at imagining alternatives and takes existing practices that aim at providing situated solutions serious.

In partnership with the Centre for the Study of the Networked Image, London South Bank University, we appointed Marloes de Valk as a Doctoral Researcher to study the potentials of alternative media ecologies on community-run servers and networks. She will engage with and analyse practices surrounding non-profit, artistic and activist servers, maintained by communities to suit their specific, often local needs, using both existing networking tools and protocols as well as developing their own.

Selected Activities & Publications

Marloes de Valk, A pluriverse of local worlds: A review of Computing within Limits related terminology and practices (2021) in Workshop on Computing within Limits

Marloes de Valk, Refusing the Burden of Computation: Edge Computing and Sustainable ICT (2021) in APRJA: Research Refusal

Marloes de Valk interview with Nestor Siré on the development of alternative networks that arose in Cuba, visual culture on SNET, as well as the social and physical aspect of digital networks. Read Part I & Part II on unthinking.photography