March 7 16:00—18:00
DeWillem at WdKA
Wijnhaven 61, 3011 WJ Rotterdam

Hello, how can I help you. Nested deep inside your favourite connected service, is a hidden architectural circuitry of traces and components carrying and manipulating electrical signals at will, and in apparent infinite capacity. In fact, this concealed medium is part of an increasingly complex global and networked assemblage of computational power which depends on vast and harmful extractive supply chains, energy grids, network infrastructure and politics that seem to favour the proliferation of the data centre industrial complex at any cost. At times where it is becoming urgent to understand at long last the materiality and energy usage of the digital, we've asked Benjamin Czaja, Vesna Manojlovic, and Marloes de Valk to help us follow these traces of power, and share with us some of the insights needed if we really want to rethink the role and environmental impact of computation in tomorrow's (dis-)connected worlds.

Benjamin Czaja
Energy footprint of the Dutch National Supercomputer

The Dutch national supercomputer Snellius facilitates research across the Netherlands. The research can vary from topics like climate modelling, to drug discovery, and from fluid dynamics to artificial intelligence. Understanding the energy required to support such research is crucial. Understanding the energy usage of a system like Snellius can open the door on our understanding of energy usage of data center’s in general. Benjamin Czaja is a High Performance Computing advisor at SURF. He supports the Dutch National Supercomputer Snellius, and in particular focuses on Energy efficiency. Ben is interested in understanding how much energy scientific research uses, and wants to explore the ways to reduce energy usage.

Vesna Manojlovic
Internet Governance & Environmental (un)Sustainability

We are in an environmental emergency! As a part of Internet Governance community, technical communities must focus on immediate actions of decreasing material & energy consumption, reducing GHG emissions and decelerating growth. Let’s build the Internet within planetary boundaries. Vesna Manojlovic is a hacker, mother, activist, feminist and community builder at RIPE NCC, a regional internet registry.

Marloes de Valk
A Tale of Two Data Centres

This lecture-performance traverses a time line bringing together local, national and international events to reconstruct the decision making process that allowed for the arrival of 200 hectares of energy hungry data centres, 6 meters below sea level, in the North of Noord-Holland, in the midst of the climate crisis. Marloes de Valk is a software artist and writer in the post-despair stage of coping with the threat of global warming and being spied on by the devices surrounding her. Surprised by the obsessive dedication with which we, even post-Snowden, share intimate details about ourselves to an often not too clearly defined group of others, astounded by the deafening noise we generate while socializing with the technology around us, she is looking to better understand why.

> top -CP                                                                    
last pid: 63287;  load averages:  999.99,  999.99,  999.99                   
39 processes:  2 running, 7 sleeping, 30 agonizing                           
CPU 0: 100.0% user,  0.0% nice, 0.0% system,  0.0% interrupt, 0.0% idle      
CPU 1: 0.0% user,  0.0% nice, 100.0% system,  0.0% interrupt, 0.0% idle      
Mem: 320M Active, 2555M Inact, 183M Laundry, 741M Wired, 395M Buf, 109M Free 
Swap: 3072M Total, 568M Used, 2504M Free, 18% Inuse                          

63232 earth        3  90    0  419M   48M CPU0    0 135.9H  999.99% send-help