The Cloud and the Crowd

This Center project explores the histories, contemporary forms, and conceptual and political implications of “cloud” and “crowd.” Crowd-sourcing, cloud computing, social media, and the rise of Big Data are implicated in powerful transformations in the fabric of our economic, social, and technical worlds. These shifts range from new modes of visualizing ecological change to the reconfiguration of disaster relief; from collaborative platforms for innovation to the radical dispersal of labor; and from new senses of political possibility to enhanced modes of crowd control.

This interdisciplinary project creates a platform for critical, collective reflection on the rise of the cloud and the return of the crowd in different ways across the globe.


The project currently has two pillars:

The Cloud and the Crowd Multicampus Research Group in the Humanities

Data / Science / Inquiry




Nicholas D'Avella

Nicholas D'Avella is the Center Postdoctoral Fellow for the Cloud and Crowd Project. Nicholas received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis in 2012. His work focuses on markets, expert knowledge, social movements, and urban life in Latin America. He is currently writing an ethnography of a construction boom in Buenos Aires that analyzes the production of the city through divergent forms of knowledge and practice, including real estate investment, architectural design, urban planning, and neighborhood life.