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Aleks Krotoski explores life in the digital world. Aleks reconnects with the physical layer of our digital world to be reminded that it is not otherworldly but built by people.

The way the digital world is presented to us can be alienating and obfuscating, bad metaphors like the cloud or the slow tracking shots between the banks of servers can make us forget that these networks are built and maintained by human beings. They can appear as something vast, unfathomable and otherworldly - a kind of digital sublime. Yet they exist in the same world as we do and have a physicality that's often lost on us.

Aleks leads us on an exploration of this physicality from the digital temples of the data centre to the fragments that populate our city streets. In appreciating this physicality and its beauty we'll be reminded that this is not something we should feel excluded from or can't have an opinion about or indeed imagine differently.

Producer: Peter McManus.

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30 minutes

Last on

Fri 18 Aug 2017 23:27

Andrew Blum

Andrew Blum

Andrew Blum is a journalist and the author of the bestselling Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, which has been translated into ten languages. Blum’s writing about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art, and travel have appeared in numerous publications, including Wired, Vanity Fair, and The New York Times. He s currently writing a book about the global infrastructure of the weather.


He talks to us about discovering the physical side of the internet, from his own home to the depths fo the ocean.

James Bridle

James Bridle

James Bridle is a British artist and writer based in Athens, Greece. His artworks have been commissioned by galleries and institutions and exhibited worldwide and on the internet. His writing on literature, culture and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Observer and many others, in print and online. He lectures regularly at conferences, universities, and other events. His formulation of the New Aesthetic research project has spurred debate and creative work across multiple disciplines. 

He talks to us about  importance of recognising the physicality of our digital world, and how the image we have of invisible technologies shape and impact our daily lives. 

Ingrid Burrington

Ingrid Burrington
Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places,politics, and the weird feelings people have about both.

She is also the author of ‘Networks of New York’, and took us hunting for the internet downtown.

Barbara Hann

Barbara Hann

Dr. Barbara Hahn is an associate professor of history at Texas Tech University and the associate editor of Technology and Culture, the journal of the Society for the History of Technology.  She is the author of two books (Making Tobacco Bright, 2011, and The Cotton Kings, 2016, with Bruce E. Baker).  She has been a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow to the School of History at the University of Leeds and a Visiting Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.


She talks to us about the nature of the sublime, how it is beautiful and terrifying,  and how it manifests in our architecture and our technology.

Paul Sharp : TeleHouse

Paul Sharp, Senior Facilities Manager at Telehouse takes us through their new Data Centre in London, which is one of the most significant nodes in the global internet, and introduces us to The Cloud in the midst of towering banks of servers.

El Paquete

El Paquete
BBC Cuba Correspondant Will Grant went in search of El Paquete in Havana, where the internet is not carried by cables or the cloud, but from hand to hand and house to house. He followed ‘Miguel’ for a day, as he delivered the internet to his many customers.

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