More selected projects

The Server Farm

An Exploration of Objects as Figures in Narratives and As Tools for Narrative Creation

By Julia Makivic




Paint the image of a tactile, breathing, shifting, organic technology. Servers and computational devices which are not limited by the physical confinement of  steel, of a finite amount of gigabytes in memory, but are able to shift and mold according to the data they store. Tendrils and flagella extend from each device, coiling in accordance to the information pulsing through them. Intricate roots like mycorrhizae line the floors of the Server Farm, connecting individual units together so that communication between them is constant, their collective knowledge distributed universally.


This Server Farm, a major information processing center is located in a remote location, inaccessible to most, the sensitive information that is stored and processed in its plasmodial bodies hidden safely from hostile actors. These units within the Server Farm communicate with many smaller units distributed across cities, forests and interstates. These units are integrated within the cement of buildings, or appear as outgrowths on a tree branch. Yet regardless of their medium, they are constantly collecting visual, auditory and tactile information and sending it to large, centralized server farms to be processed. This outside information is collected and released as spores, coating surfaces, being absorbed by pulsing membranes and integrated into the continuous stream of data collection.


Picture the Protagonist furtively entering the Server Farm. She knows that she is prohibited from entering the facilities during these hours, yet she must access the coveted data that these units store. She coils her finger around one of the tendrils, the other flagellic extensions on the device latch onto her skin. Electric pulses communicate that this particular dataset was collected about ten years ago, surveying a park ten miles away from the server farm. She feels as if she is in the park at that particular moment in time. The server releases small, electric spores that coat her skin and she feels the warmth of the high afternoon sun. She has a vague memory of being in this location years ago. She has access to every data point of her brief gestation in this location from that afternoon. She retraces her journey across the meandering paths. The tendrils send electric pulses that mimic the feeling of her running her fingers through her dog’s fur. Ten years later and she can experience that pleasant, leisurely afternoon as if that moment were occurring right now.

Read the full paper here: