The immense possibilities of today’s internet services, data centers, artificial intelligence, and rendered computer graphics have been made possible by a large supply of cheap energy sources: fossil fuels. The promises of yet another generation of AIs and metaverses are unthinkable without the endless extraction and flow of fossil energy. Many are already talking about ‘data warming’ as one of the strongly growing drivers of global warming. In what ways can we build towards low/non-carbon digital infrastructures, and an ecological internet?
This dossier provides some inputs, reflections and starting points to these questions. It is a first collection of articles, some interviews, recorded lectures and sources inspired by the fourth edition of our Reassemble Lab: Natural Intelligence . The lab was a meeting and working place for more than 40 art, design, and scientific practitioners, which took place from March 10 to 13.
Can we, by exploring alternative internet infrastructures based on earthly dynamics, low-carbon solutions, and ecological ethics, move towards a sustainable and regenerative internet? What role can design, creative coding, and artistic research play to envision and prototype a fundamentally different way of adapting our technological demands to natural cycles? To start addressing these topics, four interdependent and sometimes overlapping research areas are explored: Energy Literacy , Everyday Technologies , Collective Infrastructures, and Fossil Free Imaginaries .