11.12. 2018 16:15 Uhr - 18:00 Uhr


Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

Main Seminar Room| Advokatenweg 36| 06114 Halle



In the metaphoric imagery commonly used to describe the Internet, the world wide web has been pictured as being immaterial and fluid, like an ocean to be navigated. The complex infrastructure securing the functionality of web services ‚backstage‘ as well as the diverse forms of knowledge and industrial work behind the digital cloud are seldomly part of popular imagination. They often remain unnoticed by digital anthopologists and other scholars. My presentation is based on research conducted in Sweden’s northernmost municipality which has become a site for global cloud infrastructure and the data center industry and – a storage of the world‘s data. Analyzing the social effects of this new industrial development and of the material forms which the cloud may take in this local context, I demonstrate how ethnographic research can ground the seemingly digital cloud, and how an infrastructural perspective enriches anthropological research on digitization.