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26 Digital Earth;

Our lives become increasingly intertwined with digital operations, tools, and platforms while their material reality often stays invisible. Earth is dug, excavated, and ripped apart to extract the fundamental materials that keep the machine running—oil, coltan, sand, rubber, and lithium form the material basis on which digital reality is built. At the same time, digital technologies enable new modes of circulation and extraction of information and data. Our unawareness of the means for a digital sphere hides a complex global system.

We need to face the materiality and immateriality of the digital reality we live in; the data centres, software interfaces, rare minerals, and financial derivatives. We need to reflect on the complex algorithms that regulate the movements of goods and people and enable increasingly sophisticated surveillance systems. We need to develop a global understanding of the physical planets’ ‘datafied’ counterpart, the digital earth, to actually grasp the reality we live in. The question emerges: for which Earth do we design our intellectual, cultural, and artistic interventions?

Digital Earth is a think tank of artists and scholars who are interested in the growing presence of the digital and its impact on the planet. Our aim is to produce, through artistic practice, new ways of knowing the inextricable planetary conditions propelled and mediated by digital technologies. Our fellowships provide resources, tools, community, and amplification to artists. We organise events, curate exhibitions, and share the research and findings of our community.

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