Workshop “Earthbound Networks: Muddled Imageries of Sustainability in the Cloud Computing Milieu”

We would like to cordially invite you to the workshop “Earthbound Networks” with Dr. Eduardo Harry Luersen on cloud infrastructures in the games industry and their impact on the environment.

Thursday, Jan 11 2024, 5 pm

ZeM – Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften
Hermann-Elflein-Straße 18
14467 Potsdam

Workshop “Earthbound Networks: Muddled Imageries of Sustainability in the Cloud Computing Milieu”

Dr. Eduardo Harry Luersen (Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz)

This workshop proposes an open discussion on the relationship between cloud infrastructures and environmental issues, in light of emerging cloud gaming services and other computer-intensive media platforms. The imageries surrounding digitalisation have been largely associated with ideas of green growth, energy transition, and resource efficiency, while at the same being conceptualised within a post-industrial epistemological framework that envisioned digital media as cold, ephemeral, or weightless. However, by analysing reports from monitoring organisations, as well as the very physical structures that make platform services possible, one can trace some of the frictions in the environmental imagination at the heart of ambient supercomputing. The scale of these technical systems also poses challenges to perception and visualisation: it is not only that the sheer volume of data they carry is difficult to conceive. With the outsourcing of computer processing and storage to geo-distributed facilities, planetary-scale cloud infrastructures convey the prospect of ubiquitous telematics yet opaque industrialisation, showing and concealing at once.

After a short impulse talk on the topic, we would like to jointly discuss the interplay between infrastructures and environments, making sense of the constellation of servers, biomes, logistical operations, air conditioners, groundwater, generators, cables, heat dissipation, and real-time processing techniques that compose the ecosystem of synchronous networked computing.

We kindly ask for prior registration at

Dr. Eduardo Harry Luersen is a Postdoctorial Fellow at the Zukunftskolleg, affiliated with the Department of Literature, Art and Media at the University of Konstanz. He studied Visual Arts, Graphic Design, and Music Composition at the Federal University of Pelotas and was awarded his PhD at Unisinos University in Brazil. His studies focus on the environmental dimension of game technology and digital gaming practices, sound studies and gamification. Luersen has a strong interest in interdisciplinary inquiry and experimental research design. The project he currently conducts at the Zukunftskolleg is named ‘The Cloud Gaming Atlas: from Earth’s metabolism to the longing for radiant infrastructures’. Profile at University of Konstanz:

Prof. Dr. Birgit Schneider (University of Potsdam)
Prof. Dr. Jan Distelmeyer (University of Applied Sciences Potsdam)

Funded by ZeM – Brandenburg Center for Media Studies