How much time do we spend scrolling and looking at content from our hi-tech devices? How many millions of images are we subjected to every day? Where is all this content stored?
Thousands kilometres long tunnels unravel under our feet and in their guts are all the servers that enable each one of us to be on the web, switched on at all times. And they need to be kept cool at all times as well much as our brains and any technological device we know of. So hence the problem: just how much energy is needed to keep us constantly online, searching, downloading, sharing, scrolling, updating?
Yes, you’ve guessed it, the online world, as well, leaves behind a trail of carbon footprint. Greenpeace estimates that by 2025 technology will consume 20% of the world’s total electricity and it is now responsible for 2% of the global pollution a percentage equal to the aviation industry. In 2015 it was estimated that, if it were a country, big data would be ranked 6th for power usage. In the meantime Iceland it’s facing a pollution crises due to the amount of data storage facilities present in the country thanks to its icy territories.
Although tech companies are searching for new ways of storing data, the usage of the internet and it’s tools is expected to increase in the years to come; let’s not forget that there are still billions of people who have not had access to it yet.
Hence the creation of Open Art Images (OAI), a platform for all arts, created by the ever so brilliant Viviana Mei, an art lover and creative. The idea sprung up from a problem we all have encountered at least once: searching for an image in its original colours and in high definition with the right credits and information. The environmental concern came along with the idea: sharing images that are already present on the internet, open sourced from public galleries, museums and Wikimedia. And that’s the first of the reuse concept, the second involves the users and what they will do with the images. Students and researchers are the main target of the platform but everyone who has an interest for paintings, photography, objects, furniture, calligraphy will find what they are looking for.
In OAI every user can search the archives for images of arts without arming the planet, every content it’s free for download and it’s sources are available for all to see. The website runs on an open exchange philosophy: everyone can upload content as long they are correctly categorised, they can correct the information already present, if needed be, they can create new art with the art forms they found and send it to the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages of the platform with the hashtag #OAIREUSE.
One last important thing, OAI protects the privacy of its users because we believe anonymity to be form of freedom. Free art all in all.