This is what the Internet sounds like
The first thing you notice is how loud it is - a shrill, almost metallic buzz that fills your head. Given access to one of the world’s largest and most secure data centres, Timo Arnall shows us that the “cloud” is not ethereal, but big, hulking and incredibly loud.
Internet Machine is a six-minute, multi-screen film shot inside one of Telefonica’s data centres in in Alcalá, Spain. You can watch the trailer above. Listen to all the whirring and throbbing of the Internet’s hidden physical parts. The white noise it produces is not pleasant, at least at first; but having worked extensively in these environments I can tell you that there is a kind of hypnotic comfort in the consistency of the sound, much like the experience of absolute silence.
“In this film I wanted to look beyond the childish myth of ‘the cloud’, to investigate what the infrastructures of the internet actually look like
“It felt important to be able to see and hear the energy that goes into powering these machines, and the associated systems for securing, cooling and maintaining them.”
The cloud is made of machines, and the machines are loud.