In Living inside the Machine James Bridle writes about computers and data centres as aesthetic objects. It’s a very interesting idea and a great article. There’s one part in particular that stuck with me. James quotes William Gibson in an interview with the Paris Review from 2011, about his time in Vancouver in the late 70s/early 80s:
The only computers I’d ever seen in those days were things the size of the side of a barn. And then one day, I walked by a bus stop and there was an Apple poster. The poster was a photograph of a businessman’s jacketed, neatly cuffed arm holding a life-size representation of a real-life computer that was not much bigger than a laptop is today. Everyone is going to have one of these, I thought, and everyone is going to want to live inside them.
Everyone is going to have one of these, and everyone is going to want to live inside them. How prophetic…
James sums it up nicely in his article:
We used to posit this space, the network, the notional space, as being elsewhere, the other side of the screen. But increasingly we have these images of the machine as something that surrounds us, that we live inside, within. As something that enfolds us.