Muralists are turning Google's data centers into works of art. So far, artists in Belgium and Oklahoma have covered the buildings that store Google's information with creative designs. The company plans to hire more in different places.
Artist Jenny Odell painted the Oklahoma building with a collage made from pictures of pools, farms, ponds, and wastewater treatment plants as they appear on Google Maps. "The satellite imagery I used to make this mural at some point passed through a data center like this one," she pointed out in a video about the project.
Another artist, Oli-B, painted a colorful cloud design — a visual pun on the technical term "the cloud" — on a Google building in Belgium. A video shows Oli-B and his helpers elevating themselves on a construction platform to implement the design. "It may look like a giant canvas, but this is a very special place that plays a special role in the operation of the internet," he explained in the video.
A data center is basically where all the searches, clicks, and everything else that happens online is stored on servers. We may not think about these places a lot, but with bright colors calling attention to them, people may further appreciate what a pivotal role they play in our lives.