from net to cloud


What we called surfing, we now call sharing. What was once cyberspace and The Net are now platforms. All of these are metaphors, but we might be less likely to notice them as such, because this is how dominant metaphors work – as infrastructures.

N. Markham, Annette, Weidenberg, Katrin (Ed.), Metaphors of Internet: Ways of Being in the Age of Ubiquity, Peter Lang Publishing, New York 2020, p. 9.

From Net, City, World to Cloud, Market, Sea investigates how we narrate and imagine the internet with the help of metaphors. Net stands for the relations between various forms of infrastructure; City conceives cyberspace as an urban and social site; World focuses on utopias beyond the laws of physics and politics; Cloud marks the internet as an ephemeral and decentralized repository; Market zeroes in on the commercialization of Web3; and Sea opens up the metaphor of water for the digital data stream.

On the basis of these six terms, the project traces various narratives, experiences, and points of historicity of the internet. It moves from the overarching metaphors of the internet to concrete visual manifestations and attempts to historicize the internet and its linguistic imaginaries.

From Net, City, World to Cloud, Market, Sea is funded by Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin and takes place in collaboration with /rosa, diffrakt zentrum für theoretische peripherie e.V., Hopscotch Reading Room, and The project entails a publication, a reading group, a workshop, and six public events.

Following the Metaphor



Metaphors we click by

Reading Group

The internet is full of metaphors. Our use of language, the descriptions of our everyday applications and experiences of the internet, are incredibly figurative: we stream films and series, store data in the cloud, teach AI as if it were a child and construct fantastic worlds in video games. The Reading Group “Metaphors we click by” wants to explore these images: their historicity, their influence on our notions of the internet, their technical manifestations. Together with interested people, we want to read various texts (German/English), visit websites, and discuss our own use of the Internet. We will meet weekly from 21.02.2024 (6 dates in total) in the project room.


Kuratorisches Konzept

Tereza Havlíková, Julia Kochanek, Anneliese Ostertag

Graphisches Konzept

Judith Weber


Diana Thun


Elfi Rückert


Igor Štromajer


Paloma Oliveira

Die Realisierung des Projektes wird aus Mitteln des „Hauptstadtkulturfonds“ ermöglicht.