Data Tactics: Information Control, and Colonization Strategies in the Data Center Technocene

Eduardo Cilleruelo Terán

Design Teaching Fellow, Dept of Architecture, Cornell AAP

  • March 11-22, 2024

  • Bibliowicz Family Gallery, Milstein Hall

Eduardo Cilleruelo Terán is a New York/Madrid-based architect, researcher, and educator. He holds the position of Design Teaching Fellow at the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning at Cornell University. As part of his research and practice, he has been committed to the analysis of infrastructural relationships under the canopy of data management and its consequences in the architectural realm. Recently, he was awarded the Prize of Excellence (Space Group, Seoul, Fall 2022) for his studies of data civicness and urban possibilities in vertical public connectors in New York City. In collaboration with Associate Professor Jesse LeCavalier, he co-curated a public exhibition and symposium, Data Clouds, in Berlin (June 2023) addressing the domains of technology intersecting with architectural typologies. In 2023, he received a Cornell Council for the Arts grant, presenting the exhibition Data Tactics: Information Control, and Colonization Strategies in the Data Center Technocene at Cornell University, Spring 2024.

The prospect of reverting to a non-digital scenario remains uncertain. The early digitalization process began the construction of our digital personas without questioning the permanence of this transformation. Currently, data management mirrors the profound dependence on fire during the pre-industrial revolution era. Data centers have emerged as contemporary technological hubs, where technology assumes the role of a ubiquitous deity in our Technocene world. While historical human settlements were designed as efficient hubs for resource and goods sharing, data centers challenge the traditional purposes of land, energy, and labor. Unprecedentedly, we are witnessing a paradigm shift where racks and servers dominate the apex of the consumption pyramid; we are no longer the drivers of our technological momentum.

Traditionally, user-centricity was a common thread in manufactured processes, industrial implementations, and the digital age. However, in the era of information control, data centers are now the custodians of our digital twins, administering the boundaries of our expression, and orchestrating a global surveillance system with an escalating reliance on non-human entities.

Popular culture perceived them as technological vessels with limited accessibility, operating as zones of exclusion, emphasizing security and common interests to prevent public disclosure. Data Tactics, Information Control, and Colonization Strategies in the Data Center Technocene explores actions and protocols shaping the crucial infrastructure of our time. Through the matching of nine operating strategies with architectural models, the exhibition prompts reflection on the architectural scales and protocols, defining colonial implementations where the building leaves its definition to acquire a radical infrastructural meaning, operating as a political subject itself.

This exhibition invites the community to step in and break through into the relics of information-control infrastructure.

Director, Curator: Eduardo Cilleruelo Terán
Exhibition Research and Editorial Design: Frank LaPuma (M.Arch. ’25), Ipek Temizkan (M.S. AAD ’24)
Model Curation and Production: Valeria Vilanova (B.Arch. ’24), Veronica Paulon (B.Arch. ’24)
Exhibition Design and Coordination: Juan Agustin Rivera (M.S. AAD ’24)

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