Status: ONGOING PROJECT: searchEngine - the prototype screenbook • b014

searchEngine – the prototype screenbook • b014

“A real life fuel engine directed by a computer doing searches on the internet, searching search engines.


A story that started by searching the internet for engine controllers, connecting me accidentally with a sailor who, with his wife, are on a multi-year travel aboard their boat.


A sailor that is an electronic and engine engineer with a boat full of related components and equipment.  To keep his boat going and develop electronics for the open source community. 


An engineer that has all needed parts, the time, and is happy to develop the engine controller to bring the “searchEngine” to fruition. 


A global online collaboration.  When finished all parts will be sent from that place in the world were this sailor is on that particular moment. 


A conversation that became a story,  and if it continues, the “searchEngine” will come alive.”

by Bart, translated by Al

searchEngine • the prototype screen book • 2014
click right mouse button to open the big picture

A physical data visualisation, the searchEngine project will reveal the environmental carbon footprint of internet search behavior and its supportive physical infrastructure.

An installation-based structure of engines being started by searching the web.

A physical manifestation of each search and the carbon footprint of that search action.


“A typical search returns results in less than 0.2 seconds. Queries vary in degree of difficulty, but for the average query, the servers it touches each work on it for just a few thousandths of a second. Together with other work performed before your search even starts (such as building the search index) this amounts to 0.0003 kWh of energy per search, or 1 kJ. For comparison, the average adult needs about 8000 kJ a day of energy from food, so a Google search uses just about the same amount of energy that your body burns in ten seconds.
In terms of greenhouse gases, one Google search is equivalent to about 0.2 grams of CO2. The current EU standard for tailpipe emissions calls for 140 grams of CO2 per kilometer driven, but most cars don’t reach that level yet. Thus, the average car driven for one kilometer (0.6 miles for those in the U.S.) produces as many greenhouse gases as a thousand Google searches.” by Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations

Name: searchEngine – the prototype screenbook b014
Created date: July 7, 2014 - ...
Kind: prototype sketchbook
Keywords: human, world wide web, search, engine, data, prototype, sketchbook
Content Creator: human, world wide web, data, search engines, a global online collaboration between me and al (
Used dates: September 28, 2014
Internet Yami-Ichi • Internet-ish artworks market organised by iMal