Bench pressing up above

by Off the bench

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With this in mind, it is important to briefly discuss what I mean by that space known as the Cloud. Today in name alone, the Cloud functions almost interchangeably with ‘the internet’. As a now indispensable utility for storing data remotely, and for accessing computing power invisibly, cloud services from Amazon and Google are the infrastructure which sustain the web.


In the linkage between hardware and software, the Cloud moves information, computes questions it is asked, and stabilises the fragmented spheres of online life. It is a machine in the most Marxian description: a housing of fervent interconnectedness, human life stored in objectified metal, and labour disguised behind a veil. For Marx, a machine is not simply a technical apparatus of iron and wood and gears and tooth-lined axes. It is the connection of metal, and a human labouring body, and the body which lashes relations of power through a clip-board-contract onto the labourer, and another human mind which provides the knowledge to piece together the metal and wood into a moving object.


released February 3, 2020
In this sense, the machine, the Cloud, like an external organ of an assemblage of human brains and objectified knowledge, becomes more than a utility.


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Off the bench Hull, UK

To enchant the world with words and sounds, we rely on cogent metaphors. Perhaps the Cloud is the most famous metaphor of the new century. In the late 90s when software patents began employing more and more protuberant lines and cloud-like illustrations, the idea that a network would be conceived of from within the earth was replaced with an important skyward allusion. ... more

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