The Data Center Mural Project – where art, Google, and the cloud come together
When we say that something exists “in the cloud” what we are really saying is that the information exists somewhere else. For Google, this is the network of land-based data centers spread throughout the globe which process all of our requests to use Google apps and services. In order to “bring a bit of magic” to these data centers, Google is partnering with local artists to create The Data Center Mural Project.
Each project has its own story containing a variety of multimedia components that explore both the art and the technologies that can be found at these locations. Watch video interviews with the local artist(s) and their inspirations behind their murals. View photos from inside the data centers themselves and meet the people who maintain them and ensure that we always have access to our data. Finally, get up close and personal with the murals themselves as if you were actually there!
Currently there are two locations that you can visit: Mayes County, OK in the United States and St. Ghislain, Hainaut in Belgium, with two more data projects coming soon from Dublin, Ireland and Council Bluffs, Iowa. You can read the full debrief on The Data Center Mural Project by going to the Official Google Blog.
- Have students investigate additional art forms in and around the area of these data centers.
- Compare and contrast one of these data centers to your school/district computer system (besides scale, that is). Have students develop a list of qualifications and responsibilities that one would need in order to work at a Google data center.
- Present students with the following scenario: If Google built a data center in your hometown, what would your mural proposal look like? How would it represent the community and surrounding art culture?