The cloud has become a metaphor for the Internet, but its outlines are ill-defined. An image introduced by telecommunication companies to render complex technology simple and trans- parent has, perhaps, distorted the way we understand contemporary reality. This short film tells a three-part narrative that, through edited footage, personal experience and corporate speak, seeks to examine how clouds are not always what they seem. The lightness they suggest hides the concrete reality they deform. A call to daydream, to reimagine, to reconsider.
Head in The Clouds (Script)
Big velvety cumulus clouds are covering the blue sky and are morphing into new forms. The classroom window puts them in a frame. It is afternoon. The teacher’s voice stops and the sudden silence brings me back inside. I have not been listening.
I can feel my teacher’s angry look so I hide my face behind my hair and stare into the textbook.
I always have my head in the clouds, he tells me.
Introducing the Cloud
We have a vision. A vision of an electronic com- munity where people can easily and inexpen- sively communicate.
You can think of our electronic meeting place as the cloud.
There is a cloud. It’s the network.
A network that will link people in more personal ways.
Together we and our customers will build this new electronic community.
A community without borders and without boundaries.
And our new meeting place is open.
I am about to get on my first plane. As we are taking off, the sky above us is covered by a blanket of clouds. The closer we get to them, the more their clear outline is blurred. What once resem- bled a dense cotton ball dissolves into a thick fog. All of a sudden we are surrounded by white. I cannot tell at what point we entered the cloud. Or if we entered it at all.
Welcome to the farm
Ok, here we are on the data center floor. The first thing that I notice is that it’s a little warm in here. It’s about 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
A data center is the brains of the internet.
The engine of the Internet.
It is a giant building with a lot of power, a lot of cooling and a lot of computers.
It’s row, upon row, upon row of machines all working together to provide the services that make it function.
This data center is one node in a larger network of data centers all over the world.
It won’t be raining today. There is not a single cloud in the sky.
The heat has done great damage to the fields, leaving the farmers with a poor harvest. Some nuclear power plants had to be turned off, because they were overheating the nearby rivers. Everyone raised their head to the clouds, impatiently waiting for rain.