Store Your Data,
Nature's Way


Grow Your Own Cloud is a new service that helps you store your data nature's way - in the DNA of plants.

We are at the forefront of the development of a new type of cloud, one that is organic, rather than silicon, and which emits oxygen rather than CO2.


By bringing the latest in biotechnology and genetic science to your local flower-shop, we take care of embedding your uploaded data in the array of carefully selected plants we have in stock. Our friendly in store service will help guide you through the process, to ensure that your data blooms and grows.


Data


Our data consumption is growing at an exponential rate, all flowing into an invisble 'cloud'. Yet this cloud is far more physical than we think, powered by huge amounts of scarce energy, and precious rare earth elements.


Today, global data consumption requires the equivalent of the entire energy usage of the UK. By 2030 the amount of energy required to power our data will be more than that of Asia, Africa and Europe combined. We are locked into a new consumption cycle, driving us towards a future of data warming.


While we use huge amounts of data every second of every day, our data archives continue to grow; videos, photos, messages lying dormant yet consuming energy and pushing us to the limits of our silicon supply. However, thanks to the ingenuity of scientists, there is the promise of an alternative - DNA.


Store more than Silicon


The possibility of using DNA to store data is now a reality. Think of DNA as the original coding language, written not in binary [0 and 1] but in the more complex [A C G T]. While methods to read and write data are currently expensive and slow, DNA can store data at a density that is unparalleled - it is estimated that we could store all of the world's data in just 1kg of DNA.


Data Immortality


Our ability to store and pass on knowledge has helped shape the society we live in today, yet current methods of archiving data face the problems of obsolescence, changing formats, and decay. DNA on the other hand lasts a remarkably long time (just think of the amber in Jurassic Park). In fact it can be stored more or less indefinitely in the right conditions and the format never becomes obsolete.


Data without the Power


While all current data storage methods require gigantic sources of energy, putting a strain on our already strained environment, DNA is powered through natural processes. This means little to no electricity is required to keep data held in DNA alive and well.


Plants


Plants are generous and life giving organisms, providing habitats, producing food and creating oxygen. Like all known organisms, they are based on the building blocks of life, DNA.


Plants are also extremely mysterious organisms, holding many secrets and possessing amazing qualities. While they may seem simple, in fact plants have the largest known genomes on Earth, the largest (Paris Japonica) has 149 billion base pairs - 50x the size of the human genome. This means that despite their apparent modesty, their DNA structure holds a lot more information than any human.


All this information or data, means that plants have the potential to store huge amounts of data within their DNA. At Grow Your Own Cloud, we are interested in exploring the natural data storage properties of plants, as well as the numerous potential ways to store and treat data in a more meaningful way.


We work with the natural properties of plants, to develop methods which are beneficial for the plant as well as for data archiving. For example, we use pollination to replicate and backup data to ensure that data can live on beyond its original plant host. The information from one organism can be gathered in the form of seeds and planted again and again.


In order for plant and data alike to flourish, we help educate our clients to carefully take care of their plants in order to protect data integrity, keep it secure, as well as nurture the plant. This helps improve plant growth, mortality rates, and ensures that data is not lost prematurely.


With this project we want to raise a question- can technology become a living organism in a wider ecosystem of the earth, and can we shift from technology that exploits earth's resources to the one that makes them.




Team

Cyb0rg

Monika

Martin



Advisors

Malthe

Cecilie

Jonas

Frequently Asked Questions


How does my data get into the plant?

Grow Your Own Cloud labs has developed several techniques to embed plants with data which allow for a variety of possible uses. At Grow Your Own Cloud we use three main techniques:


1. Foliage Injection - Available with most of our plants. Short-term transient expression via leaf transmission. Ideal for romantic messages, or short form content such as 'snaps' and 'tweets.


2. Floral Dip - available with selected plants. Generates a stable expressions, which can be used to backup your data for generations.


3. Ballistic Impact (Gene Gun) - available at selected outlets. Used only for the most demanding clients, and/or difficult plants. Generates a stable expression similar to Floral Dip, ensuring plant and progeny support long-term data storage.

Can my data be downloaded?

Absolutely! Grow Your Own Cloud works with the latest nanopore technologies which allow for the reading back of genetic information almost instantly. Upon purchase you will receive a special pack with more information on how to download your data from your plant.

What happens when my plant dies?

Depending on the technique used to encode your data into the plant, it will usually be possible to copy your data into a new organism. Please visit us in store where one of our data growth experts can advise you on the best method for your data type and plant.

How do I keep my data secure?

Your data is encrypted during our sequencing process to ensure that only you and Grow Your Own Cloud can read the information stored in your plant. This is achieved by creating a unique private key. You can make this key available to other people if file sharing is required.

Can I delete my data?

If you'd like to fully delete your data for any reason you should return your plant to your local store, where we will destroy the plant using extreme heat in one of our furnaces. This usually removes all traces of data.

Is this process safe? What happens to the plant?

We are currently developing this process in full compliance with European genetic modification guidelines and standards. We work with established protocols based on current scientific knowledge, and our trials have so far proven to be successful with zero adverse effects on the plants.

Why should we store data in plants?

Grow Your Own Cloud is interested in exploring data storage which does not cost the earth. While our work remains theoretical and small in scale, we are keen to better understand the possibilities available to us in society, through multidisciplinary practice and looking beyond what is traditionally considered viable.

Contact Us


If you would like to know more about the project, or if you are interested in collaboration please get in touch with us at:


hello@growyourown.cloud



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Cyb0rg

Cyb0rg (Cyrus Clarke) is a designer, explorer, artist and researcher [dear] who works with speculation and fiction as a way to provoke imaginative thinking about human abilities, limits and vulnerabilities. His focus is on inspiring desirable futures by investigating how technology can make us more human.

Following graduation from CIID in Denmark, his artistic practice has led him to examine the effects of advanced digital technologies on society, leading him to explore and develop concepts which probe at themes like post-factuality, posthumanism, DNA based data storage and machinic interpretations of emotions. He takes inspiration from nature, the arts, Internet culture, science and philosophy, as he seeks to bring extrapolated scenarios into experiential realities today.

Monika Seyfried

Monika is an Interaction Designer with a background in art, photography and film-making. In her work, she engages at the intersection of emerging technologies, audiovisual media and the natural environment, creating sensory rich, interactive spaces. Monika's passion is to build immersive experiences; mixed reality worlds that blend the digital and physical, working with a speculative mindset and experimenting with design approaches.Her work has been exhibited in several cities across the globe, including Beijing, Paris, Copenhagen and Zagreb.

As an exhibition designer and film-maker, she has collaborated with clients including the National Museum of China, Copernicus Science Center, Moleskine and DDB. Monika is a graduate of the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design and the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She holds a Master's Degree in Audiovisual Media.