This visual essay discusses digital labour in a Yandex data centre located in Finland. Drawing on a combination of visual ethnography, elicitation interviews and participant observation that took place in Yandex’ only data centre located outside of Russia between 2018 and 2019, I show how the labour of maintaining a crucial part of Russian internet consumption and data practices is contingent on the creative work of everyday inhabiting and humanising the industrial space of the data centre. With feminist art critique Lucy Lippard (1974/2010), and anthropologist Mary Douglas’s (1991) ideas of home, I suggest how work in the data centre rests upon mobilising traditionally feminine domestic crafts and hobby art work such as gardening, cooking, and waste reuse as mode of critique and ultimately, a transformational rehabilitation of a space designed to cater for the machines rather than for the people who care for machines.

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