“It’s really vital to remember that the internet is physical. The internet can be touched, it is material, it exits. Because so much of the rhetoric around surrounding concepts of cyberspace, for example, suggests that it’s somehow just a magic, etheral realm that exists out there almost on its own.” —Stephen Graham, Professor of Cities and Society
How do the zetabytes of data (mostly LOL Cats) move from city to city and across the world? A lot of it moves through New York’s 60 Hudson street, which Ben Mendelsohn explored in Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors, a short documentary he created for his masters thesis in media studies at the New School.
“It’s one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of internet connectivity,” Mr. Mendelsohn says. “Inside on the 9th floor, a company by the name of Telex operates the building’s most densely-populated interconnection area, where channel upon channel of local, national and global fiberoptic cables all converge to exchange traffic.”
How did the building become such a massive node in the world’s biggest network? Check out the full video below. Perhaps what is most fascinating about 60 Hudson is the way it made the leap from pneumatic tubes to a Western Union telegraph hub, to telephone lines, to housing a key node in the infrastructure of the internet.
Follow Ben Popper via RSS.