Photos by Kate Bowe O’ Brien

Greetings from… (2020)
(3” x 5”, series of 24)

Much of today’s internet infrastructure depends on the servers of Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS provides scalable and inexpensive cloud computing to companies including Airbnb, Ryanair, Netflix, Twenty First Century Fox, and many others. The global infrastructure of AWS is divided into regions. Each of these regions is made up of different ‘availability zones’, clusters of individual data centres built near to one another to ensure their services remain both fast and stable.

Unlike other ‘hyperscale’ companies such as Google and Facebook, AWS prefers to keep the locations of their data centres as quiet as possible. This is problematic when we consider the many controversies surrounding AWS and Amazon, including issues surrounding workers rights, the development of facial recognition software for law-enforcement agencies and its ongoing efforts to secure a $10 billion contract for the US Department of Defence’s Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) project. AWS also facilitates a region called ‘GovCloud’, which is used by various US government agencies and their customers to host sensitive data and has also announced an ‘AWS Secret Region’, which works specifically with US intelligence services to store and access information across all classification levels – up to and including “top secret”.

The series of postcards presented here span all AWS regions. Based on documents released by WikiLeaks, 12 of the cards contain images of known AWS data centres, or their approximate surrounding environs, the specific location of the other 12 are still unknown, including AWS Secret Region.