Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon

Photographic print and text


Before reaching our homes, the objects we buy on Internet transit in huge warehouses which fill the surroundings of big cities. Before being delivered to your home, the items we buy on the Internet pass through huge warehouses that fill the outskirts of major cities. As for our data, far from being immaterial, they generate infinite alignments of computer servers stored in data farms, virginal spaces, perpetually air-conditioned. The perfect isotropy of these virginal, air conditioned spaces is only overcome by Borges' library of Babel.

Concealed under the unnoticeable appearance of a warehouse, the physical presence of a data center remains invisible. It represents the blind space per se, unseen despite of its mass, as an elephant squeezed into the flaws of perception.

These minimalistic, unornamented sheds convey the idea of a disconnection with the surrounding world. Their presence in the material universe appears intrusive, ill-adapted. They belong to another world, which accidentally intersects with ours – even though it is built in iron and reinforced concrete –: the world of data, networks and flows.

The Parc Monceau's castle in ruins

What's left of the architecture is only the basics: their air is conditioned, their light fluorescent, their design indifferent. Empty, inert, opaque, they adopt the appearance of a mausoleum.

These dead zones seem to constitute an urban allegory of the absence of biodiversity, in comparison to the ocean bottoms, where any kind of life has ceased.

Créteil's lake mountain


Utopia Factory, exhibition, Les Passerelles, Pontault-Combault, june 26, 2010

Les espaces d’Abraxas, exhibition, Seconde nature, Aix-en-Provence, november 2012

Attractions périphériques, Lecture, Hospitalités 2009, Tram, 2009