In early 2014, following his denial of access by Google Inc., artist John Gerrard hired a helicopter and produced a detailed photographic survey of one the key physical sites of the internet—a Google data farm in Oklahoma. This survey was the starting point of his new work entitled Farm (Pryor Creek, Oklahoma), 2015. The work features a simulated ‘twin’ of the squat building flanked by diesel generators and powerful cooling towers. This new work was shown alongside Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada), 2014, at Thomas Dane Gallery, London, from February 7.
What dislocations of the subject, what disruptions of the process of individuation are administered by a global system of ‘self-organization’ piloted from blank, inaccessible facilities such as the one modelled in Farm? What new species of virtual subject is being reared in massive data centres whose processes operate well below the threshold of human perception?
Setting out from Gilles Châtelet’s To Live and Think Like Pigs, this panel discussion sought to understand the relation between cognitive and spatial dislocation in the contemporary digital-cognitive control system,and the algorithmic channelling of desire that binds us to the invisible processing centres of a ‘future neurocracy’; and to ask, in the wake of ‘post-internet art’: What does the Internet look like?