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?Do we need a new energy literacy for this? This dossier provides inputs, reflections and starting points to these questions.
Natural Intelligence, the third edition of FIBER’s Reassemble Lab , explored alternative internet infrastructures based on earthly dynamics, low-carbon solutions, and ecological ethics. 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? What does it mean to learn from, adapt to, and work with natural intelligence, and how can we imagine, articulate, practice, and connect initiatives towards fossil-free futures? The lab was a meeting and working place for more than 40 art, design, and scientific practitioners.