Data Centres as Impermanent Infrastructures

Julia Velkova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


We are used to assuming that media infrastructures are made to last. This essay argues for taking impermanence as a point of departure in order to understand data centres’ power to reshape global and local peripheries into temporary nodes for value extraction, as well as the ways in which data centres influence the topography of global internet connectivity. By contrasting the discourses through which data centres are often represented in the media against their design and the wasteful materialities that underpin their operation, the essay opens up temporality and impermanence of data centres as a new theme for critical intervention that extends earlier discussions on the environmental impact of data centres, and their politics of territoriality.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCulture machine
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 518 Media and communications

Cite this