(Google Inc., St. Ghislain)
Crystal Computing (Google Inc., St. Ghislain) is a video-based investigation about Google’s data center in St. Ghislain, Belgium. After being rejected to visit the data center officially, I made a secret research trip to Belgium. DIY surveillance material origins from the surroundings of a huge industrial complex collected during four days. It is Google´s biggest data center in Europe.
The work is an attempt to go beyond the white search screen. To concentrate on the material and local importance of the industry, that is often hidden under ‘cloudy’ PR rhetoric.
The site, that was named on the signs as Crystal Computing led my interest to secret policies and eventually to tax avoidance network of the company.
Crystal Computing (Center of Doubt) at Köler Prize, EKKM, Estonia, 2015
Crystal Computing (Center of Doubt) at REIF, Kühlhaus, Berlin, 2014
The work is a web-found collection of information about concrete locations important to Google Inc / Alphabet. It starts with exploration of the data center in St. Ghislain in Belgium – its location, legal documents, personal emails for applying for a visit.
The contracts, which have very many changes over the years – replacement responsible personell, capital rises and so on – brought an interest to the monetary flux of the company.
In the end it draws an unexpected route: Mountain View, California – Wilmington, Delaware – Dublin, Ireland – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Hamilton, Bermuda. All information is being collected by using services the very company provides.