With the advent of social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, humans have increased their production of digital content.[1] Even simple online interactions generate carbon emissions; a Google search has been estimated to generate 0.2 grams of CO2.[2] To keep pace with growing online media, there is an increasing dependence upon data centers,[3] which now account for 2% of the US’s electricity consumption.[4]

#CarbonFeed directly challenges the popular notion that virtuality is disconnected from reality. Through sonifying Twitter feeds and correlating individual tweets with a physical, data visualization in public spaces, the work reveals the environmental cost of online behavior and its supportive physical infrastructure.

Have a Twitter account? Listen to your own Twitter feed.

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1 Daniel Terdiman. “Report: Twitter hits half a billion tweets a day.” CNET, October 26, 2012, accessed October 26, 2013.
2 Urs Hölzle. “Powering a Google Search.” Google Official Blog, January 11, 2009, accessed October 26, 2013.
3 Miller, Rich. “How Many Data Centers? Emerson Says 500,000.” Data Center Knowledge, December 14, 2011, accessed October 26, 2012.
4 Jonathan Koomey “Growth in Data Center Electricity Usage 2005 to 2010” Analytic Press, August 1, 2011, accessed October 23, 2013

Contact us about hosting #Carbonfeed at your gallery, museum, or institution.

Have a Twitter account? Listen to your Twitter feed.