CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
“Every hour [this center] consumes the amount of power that two average households will use in a month. The equipment generates a correlating mass of sound - an inscrutable ocean of endless drone..."
250kVA comes out of field recordings made at the data center located in the Pennovation Center in the Gray’s Ferry neighborhood of Philadelphia. Data centers house telecommunication and data storage systems integral to the infrastructure of contemporary life.
Despite their centrality in our day-to-day digital activities, most of us cannot access them due to the security they necessitate. The title 250kVA refers to the power capacity of this particular center (250 kilo-volt-amperes). Every hour it consumes the amount of power that two average households will use in a month. The equipment generates a correlating mass of sound - an inscrutable ocean of endless drone. I used various types of microphones, including some which record the sounds of electromagnetic fields, as I moved within and around the data center. Thank you to David Cohen for granting me access and for being generous with his time.
MFA Univ of Pennsylvania
Austin Fisher is an artist and musician currently living in Somerville, Massachusetts who works primarily with sound and video. His scores have appeared in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2018), the 57th Edition of the Carnegie International (2018-19), and the 2019 Venice Biennale as part of Alex Da Corte’s Rubber Pencil Devil.
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