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Bunkering Data: Sowing the Seeds of the Digital Future?

last modified Feb 23, 2016 02:33 PM
Alex Taylor, Division of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge

Drawing from my ethnographic research on the emergence of subterranean data centres, I will discuss how the increasingly commonplace practice of preserving data in ‘future-proof’ underground bunkers connects to cultural anxieties surrounding the fragility and ephemerality of the digital and how digitisation/data preservation projects shape (and are shaped by) imaginaries of a digital future that is haunted by the spectre of disaster – from routine Disaster Recovery plans to the science-fictional long-term dormantisation of data in the event of a civilisational crisis.