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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the cultural productivity of the ontological elusiveness of clouds. Vaporous entities without a clear material or formal existence, clouds carry great freights of significance. Few phenomena are quite so packed with meaning. Despite their reputation as flighty and insubstantial, clouds have carried a wide range of discourses, practices, arts, and media for a very long time. The term ‘cloud’ has earned its place as a keyword in digital culture because of its widespread recent use for server-based online data storage, but the nearly instant and universal acceptance of this term today has a much longer legacy, which this chapter traces.

Keywords: cloud, data, meteorology, John Ruskin, theology, white noise

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