Reb Limerick Interviewed by Altered Esthetics
What is The Cloud made of? Water molecules or pixels? Where does it reside? The sky or the ground? Last summer, HomePaige (ongoing artistic collaborator Paige Carlson) and WurldWideReb (my primary digital alter-ego) explored these questions through the creation of a 9 episode web series. Hard Drive chronicled our 18 day road trip around the western half of the US in search of a more intimate connection with our data. We visited Google data centers, an iCloud storage facility, and a supercomputer center, finding ourselves overwhelmed by the level of secrecy and the amount of resources needed to power these monuments. As a video and performance artist, the resources I use to create my artworks are often more abstract, harder to quantify or ethically analyze. I find myself placing trust in physical hard drives to store my files, finding power in my embodied acapella voice to tell stories and inspire catharsis, feeling more present when I’m offline. Yet, I stay up to date on Climate Change data and policies by endlessly scrolling Twitter, a company known for lack of transparency around their own carbon emissions. As caring individuals in love with blooming Lilacs and obsessed with our smartphones, how do we hold these contradictions?