Schinousa is a tiny island in the Aegean Sea with an area of just 8km2. It is the birthplace of the collaborative platform Aegean Datahaven, which was founded on April 5th, 2082. The cooperative platform is dedicated to protecting openness, privacy and personal data in the first fully sustainable data center cooled exclusively with Mediterranean seawater. It was the first of a series of small, sustainable and completely green data centers that were constructed on other islands in the Aegean sea over the following decade.
Archaeological excavations have revealed the existence of the Acropolis, which according to researchers was used for the transmission of messages from one island to another. At various times the island was abandoned by large parts of its population due to frequent pirate raids, extensive touristic exploitation, and various conflicts and antiquities looting scandals. The last known looting scandal took place in 2006 and involved the Getty museum, several curators and a Greek ship owning family.
Following the 2011 local government reforms, when the population was 256 inhabitants, Schinousa became a municipal unit of Naxos and Lesser Cyclades, and remained so until 2081, when the population reached 750 people. It was in that year the island became a municipality again and the Aegean Datahaven was launched. The open and cooperative base on which the Aegean Datahaven functions has been praised across the Internet and people from all over the globe seek to store their digital memories on this island.
The Antiparos databunker was constructed in 2090 eight years after the launching of Schinousa data center. Antiparos is a small island in the southern Aegean, at the heart of the Cyclades, which is less than one nautical mile (1.9 km) away from Paros. The nearby Saliagos island is the most ancient settlement in the Cyclades, and Despotiko, an uninhabited island in the southwest of Antiparos, is a place of great archaeological importance.
The Community of Antiparos was founded in 1914 and was promoted to a municipality in 2010. It occupies an area of 45 km including the island of Antiparos and Despotiko.
According to the 2081 census it had 1,820 permanent inhabitants. The island's economy has mainly been based on tourism, fishing, farming and a little agriculture for decades. It was a popular tourist resort in the summer for Greeks and European visitors, as well as land investors from the United States.
After the economic and social crisis in the broader area of the Aegean sea, the inhabitants decided to stand against investors and tourist exploitation and to regain their properties and land. They entered and supported the Aegean Datahaven in 2085 and since then they are among the strongest supporters of openness and collaboration.
The island has been a destination for many people over the centuries mainly due to the extraordinary cave on the south-eastern side of the island which rises 177meters above sea level. The cave is one of the oldest in Greece. The earliest visitor to the cave on record was Archilochos, a lyrical poetfrom Paros, who lived from 728-650 B.C. In the early 19th century Lord Byron inscribed his signature in the cave, and on the 27th September 1840 it was visited by the first king and queen of Greece, Otho and Amalia.
It is said that the series of drawings of the Aegean Datahaven data centers which are attributed to an unknown traveler have their origin on the island of Antiparos. The first known data center drawing by the unknown artist was executed here around 2091.
Tilos welcomed the Aegean Datahaven from the first launch day and the local data center was build there in 2084. Autonomous and open minded, the people of Tilos took the decision to join the Aegean Datahaven and to make their island the second one to host a data center dedicated to the openness, privacy and collaboration in the Aegean Sea.
Tilos, situated between Kos and Rhodes in Greece, is one of the smallest islands of the Dodecanese and long with the uninhabited offshore islets of Antitilos and Gaidaros, it forms the municipality of Tilos with an area of 63 km2. Tilos is part of the Rhodes regional unit. According to the 2081 census it had a population of 1200 inhabitants.
Popularly, the name of the island derives from Telos who was the son of Helios and Halia. He came to the island in search of herbs to heal his ill mother. However, Telos does not appear in Greek mythology and the name probably has an unknown pre-Hellenic origin.
Pottery and stone tools discovered on the island indicate human activity in the early Neolithic period. The discovery of large assembly of bones of dwarf elephants Palaeloxodon antiquus falconeri carbon dated between 4000 and 7000 BC, resulted to call Tilos the island of the pygmy elephants. In 1914, Othenio Abel, an Austrian paleontologist, suggested that the Cyclops of Homeric legend was based on fossil elephant finds in antiquity. Abel, who excavated many Mediterranean fossil beds, related the image of one-eyed giant cavemen to the remains of Pleistocene dwarf elephants. Shipwrecked sailors unfamiliar with elephants might easily mistake the skull’s large nasal cavity for a central eye socket.
Despite its relatively small size, the island hosts a large variety of habitats, which include rocky islets, relic woodland, a number of small but abandoned springs, natural and human-made grasslands. These habitats are home to rare and protected bird species. During the last decades Tilos’ natural environment has changed due to anthropogenic causes such as nonregulated and unplanned developments in the tourism industry, land-use changes and other small infrastructure developments. All these have threatened the island’s traditional agricultural landscape, its biodiversity and consequently its important avifauna.
Two facts from the recent history of the island have to be mentioned because the are indicative of the mentality of the inhabitants.
One has to refer to two facts that took place on Tilos in the recent decades and are indicative of the mentality of the inhabitants.
On 3rd of June 2008, the mayor performed for the first time in Greece the wedding of two same sex couples citing a legal loophole. The government filed a court motion to annul the two same-sex marriages, stirring demonstrations and protests among the LGBT community. The case had after some years proceeded to the European Court of Human Rights opening the path to fully support the rights of the community in Greece.
The second fact refers to the known refugee crisis of the 2010-2020 decade. Since the beginning of the refugee crisis, inhabitants of Tilos have been working intensively on helping refugees from Syria and other countries. Supported by the United Nations, a humanitarian NGO and the local community, an open refugee home as well as school teaching and childcare facility were created. This was a rarity in the Greek islands and stood in contrast to the more common practices adapted on the majority of the islands, namely the refugees camps.
Sikinos data center was constructed in 2090 after eight years of the launch of the first data center on Schinousa. The people of Sikinos joined the Aegean Datahaven right after its founding but it took several years to construct and function the data center on their island due to the particularity of its terrain. Sikinos is a Greek island and municipality in the Cyclades. It is located midway between the islands of Ios and Folegandros.
Sikinos was part of the Thira regional unit, but in 2081 became an independent community. Sikinos includes the uninhabited island of Kardiotissa and other uninhabited islets. Its total land area is 42 km2.
The island was known as Oinoe (Island of Wine) in antiquity and it has been always contrasting with nearby islands, such as Ios, in being quiet and relatively less developed. It is known to be among the few islands which are almost invisible on Google Earth. It is said that the inhabitants have developed a digital shield over the island.
Parts of the island are very difficult to access due to its particular terrain. Nearly all of the island's area is covered by terraces once used for extensive agriculture. For many decades only a handful were used across the island, most of them operating on government subsidies. Now with a number population 580 (2081 census), almost doubled from that of the 2011, inhabitants have created an open platform for reviving this kind of agriculture and succeeding food self sufficiency.
The Lipsi data center it was the last one to be built of the six data center network of the Aegean Datahaven. Although the island had entered the platform since its launch, the construction of the data center was realized almost a decade later due to the harsh conditions on the island.
The larger Lipsi-Arki archipelago consists of some 37 islands and islets. Lipsi is a municipality, part of the Kalymnos regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean region. Their collective name is taken from the name of the largest island Lipsi or Lipso, which is comprised of two landmasses, joined together by a narrow 400 m2 wide neck. The total area of the cluster is 17.3 km2 .The population according to 2081 census were 1050 inhabitants. The name of Lipsi is a very ancient one and it is encountered on ancient inscriptions. According to local oral traditions the mythical Calypso was living on the island.
As were all the islands of the Dodecanese, Lipsi seems to have been inhabited continuously from pre-historic times until now. Inscriptions and clay pots dating from classical times were found in various parts of the island. Lipsi's proximity with Patmos might be an indication that Christianity was brought to the island as early as the first century AD. The monuments belonging to the early Christian period are of great importance
As on other islands in the southern Aegean, water resources were limited to Lipsi for many years. The existing reserves were not sufficient to cover the daily needs. The deficit was offset by cost-intensive water transports from Rhodes with drinking water being delivered in disposable bottles. Rainfall was also used to achieve a minimum degree of autonomy. In 2009 the operation of a seawater desalination plant was planned and a framework agreement between the Minister for Naval Affairs and local authorities was signed.
Most of the secluded and protected bays in the north of the island have been destroyed by the year-long fish farming. The water in these bays was for years often very cloudy with fish farm wastage. The less secluded bays have not been so heavily polluted. Roads on the island have been reconstructed using European Union funding.
Between 2050 and 2090 the islanders supported by newcomers mainly from big urban centers decided to reduce fish farming, to restrain touristic exploitation and to focus on sustainability. Lipsi island is now one of the most sustainable and autonomous islands in the southern Aegean.
Schinousa I is the first floating data center of the platform completely built with plastic trash collected from the aegean seabed. It was constructed in 2083, one year after the launch of the Aegean Datahaven.It is a fully sustainable and expandable data center cooled exclusively with Mediterranean seawater. After decades of research the Schinousa I floating data center integrates state of the art water cooling technology with next generation data center infrastructure to mark a new era for the data storage.
The first floating data center of the Aegean Datahaven reduces the cost of computing, cut power usage, eliminates water consumption, decreases air pollution and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. The construction of small floating units spread across the Aegean archipelago is planned for the next years.
We are the islands united. We claim the sun, the sea and the information for the people.
This is the year 2092.
After facing continuous tensions and political upheavals in Europe there is no more space for manifestos. There is an intense need for building on and reviving myths instead. We, the people of the Aegean sea, bearing on our shoulders the weight of a long history nurtured by the myth, are aware of this urgency.
Thus after many decades of decline and struggles in the area, we are committed to revive the extended network that was present here centuries ago. By building an Aegean Datahaven we reconstruct nodes and connections within the archipelago but also outside of it. Our Aegean Datahaven is open and it is functioning on a traditional cooperativism platform that derives directly from the traditional societies of the Aegean islands. We stand for privacy and ownership of the personal data, for sustainability and collaboration between the islands and for net neutrality. We stand against big corporations and the Cloud.
In the face of the harsh and erratic regional conditions, the Aegean Datahaven connects the islands with each other. It underlines the strength needed to live on the sea surrounded by the sea. We seek to create new topologies and networks and to challenge the established forms of sovereignty, identity, geography and power in our region.
We are the islands united. We claim the sun, the sea and the information for the people.
The Mediterranean Sea, in the sidelined European South, has been the stage of major tensions and urgencies due to its geographical particularity and cultural diversity: climate change, population movements, financial crisis, military and political conflicts, tourist exploitation. Part of the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean archipelago connects but also divides two continents being therefore of crucial importance for many centuries in this area.
Having opposed numerous gentrification attempts and investment plans during the last decades, the archipelago is found to accommodate in the future a decentralized network of small, fully sustainable, climate-controlled data centres, constructed on the islands or floating on the water, which enables people to safely and privately store and share their digital information and memory without relying on any kind of corporate cloud. This network of data centres managed by the islanders brings into form a kind of local traditional platform cooperativism.
The islanders’ community consists of people who abandoned the urban centres of Europe, former refugees and indigenous islanders. In the face of the harsh and erratic regional conditions, the Aegean Datahaven connects the islands with each other creating new topologies and questioning at the same time the established forms of sovereignty, identity, geography and power, examining in this way new alternatives for Europe.
An extended archive of the data centers can be found in the Aegean Datahaven collection. The data centers are depicted on a series of drawings by an unknown traveler.
The Aegean Datahaven is a project that was conceived and realized by Greek visual artist Kyriaki Goni in 2017. The focus of her work is during the last years on notions such as digital memory, oblivion, data distribution and datafied self. She exhibits her work internationally (ISEA, SIGGRAPH, ADAF, ODDSTREAM etc.) and presents part of her research in conferences (SIGGRAPH, Onassis Cultural Center & Ars Electronica). Her art paper on her work Deletion Process_Only you can see my history, on oblivion and datafied self was published on Leonardo 49:4, The Journal of the International Society of the Arts, Sciences and Technology.
The project was commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Center on the occasion of the exhibition Tomorrows, 2017.