This Project Is Setting Out To Determine What The Internet Sounds Like

This Project Is Setting Out To Determine What The Internet Sounds Like
Design

Sound designer Matt Parker has created a documentary on what noise the Internet would collectively create

Jennifer Passas
  • 17 august 2017

What does the internet actually sound like? This is a question that sound designer Matt Parker wants to answer through a web documentary called The People’s Cloud. Parker visited a series of data centers and fiber optic cable networks around the world to record the sounds of the internet at work. The soundtrack that he has created is the story of the network infrastructure that powers our world.

With words like ethernet, virtual and the cloud, we don’t really have a strong connection to the most popular mode of communication. Parker hopes that his soundtrack of internet sounds gives us a visceral connection to something that is quite ethereal.

The tacks in Parker’s documentary includes both natural sounds such as the ocean which he recorded while on the coast of the UK where fiber optic cables meet the sea, as well as very mechanical sounds that are quite grating. A data center complex in Iceland that hosts a large bitcoin mine has a combination of electronic device sounds paired with the whirring of fans that is far from aesthetically pleasing.

Data centers and other places designed to house large amounts of electronic equipment were not created with people in mind. They are by in large very loud, cold, harsh places. The soundtrack according to Parker is meant to ground listeners and give them a peak into spaces that so few humans will ever see.

Parker’s work has inspired a number of artists and musicians who are interested in the sounds of the internet. DJ Tim Exile has created a dance floor-ready composition with sounds from IBM’s data centers and Evan Roth, a Paris-based artists, has been documenting the fiber optic cable landing locations on the coast of Sweden in his series Landscapes. Parker is currently working on subsequent episode of The People’s Cloud.

The People’s Cloud

What does the internet actually sound like? This is a question that sound designer Matt Parker wants to answer through a web documentary called The People’s Cloud. Parker visited a series of data centers and fiber optic cable networks around the world to record the sounds of the internet at work. The soundtrack that he has created is the story of the network infrastructure that powers our world.

+Art
+Arts & Culture
+Culture
+data
+Design
+documentary
+Europe
+financial services
+home
+IBM
+internet
+Sound
+technology
+UK
+USA
+work

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