Artist and Researcher

The Crystallisation Event

This piece describes a speculative future in which the endless digitisation and quantification of data has caused information to become supersaturated and begin a process of crystallisation. Inspired by J G Ballard's book "The Crystal World" this piece presents both physical and digital artefacts from a speculative future in which data has begun a process of crystallisation. In the same way that Ballard's book describes crystals taking over a remote corner of the jungle, this work discusses crystallisation taking over the cloud and the internet through the endless quantificiation of our world. In this process the hardware of the cloud becomes apparent as crystals emerge from its usually hidden infrastructure.

The project is presented as a speculative museum exhibit showing future artefacts from this post crystallised data world. These artefacts show both the physical results of the crystallisation process as well as the process by which digital information crystallises. The narrative describes how a crystalline structure is forming over our planet, emerging from digital data to create a new anthropocenic layer over technology. These crystalline forms create their own forms of information generated through the algorithmic, emergent behaviour of crystal growth.

Using a future speculative media archaeological approach the Crystallisation Event is examined as a process that has continued since deep time. Beginning with the minerals and elements that formed our physical world the process has permeated through all layers of our physical, digital and ontological world. This kind of self organisational and self distributed behaviour is now become visible in computation in the way in which peer to peer networks behave, data is organised in cloud servers and services such as facebook and google link information together.

This speculative research fiction describes a type of process of silicification where carbon based life is being replaced by silicon hardware and digital information. This techno crystallisation is supersaturating our environment and leading to a crystallisation of technology that has permeated into all aspects of our world. The ever increasing density of data and technology needed to support it is rapidly expanding and forming a kind of new anthropocenic layer over our planet and as computers and hardware become more ubiquitous to our daily lives.

This project was presented as part of my MFA studies at Goldsmiths University during 2017 and exhibited at Gossamer Fog Gallery in London during June 2017.

Special thanks to my supervisors at Goldsmiths University Helen Pritchard and Joel Gethin-Lewis

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© 2018 - Jayson Haebich