Interactive cloud experience, 2020
Clouds are wondrous and mysterious – merging different elements, metaphors and information, and questioning the experience of the invisible. A formless form, a shifting event space, open to many projections and possibilities, yet real, active and current. Sometimes the cloud touches the surface of the Earth, sometimes it reaches into the future – and for a fleeting moment the cloud is before us.
The critical, yet invisible, intersections between atmosphere, ecosystem and society become an immersive ‘real reality’ when atmospheric motion transforms into a digital cloud formation with many possible futures. Through the interactive use of climate data and real-time video and sound, the work explores the contingency of the cloud in the changing ecosystems and living environments. Supersaturation takes the viewer closer to the complexity of atmospheric phenomena and the hidden processes related to climate sensitivity. Clouds are the visible phenomena of those invisible interactions in the sky and important part of life on Earth. The expanded use of climate data investigates the aesthetic power in climate change action. Yet when the clouds are brought into the exhibition space, they move from the factual into the sensorial realm and the cloud emerges as a possibility for imagined futures.
Supersaturation is powered by scientific aerosol* data measured above the Nordics. The process is unpredictable and totally unique because every stream of data is defined separately to continuously modify the audio-visual information. The interactive programming determines and reconfigures the shifting appearance of the work. What you see and hear is the result of ‘cloud-to-cloud’ communication between the vast amount of scientific data measured from the atmosphere and extensive variations of digital video and sound signals, captured and interpreted from the clouds. These two different modes of invisible information, one influencing the other, are combined to provide a sensuous experience for the viewer at Jönköping City Library. The unseen events in the atmosphere are revealed yet simultaneously vanishing – eventually becoming ‘supersaturated’.
* Clouds are held by currents of air yet without atmospheric aerosols, there would be no clouds. In the atmosphere, there is a shifting amount of water vapour and particles which differ in size, composition and chemistry. An aerosol is an suspended particle in the air formulating from both natural and anthropogenic sources. These tiny particles have an important role in cloud formation because through the condensation of water vapour in the air – the natural process of supersaturation – they produce cloud droplets and ice crystals. Although invisible to the human eye, atmospheric aerosol particles have a profound impact on the world around us, from air quality to global temperatures and Earth’s climate system. Aerosols either cool down or warm up the climate because they reflect and absorb sun radiation. Furthermore, they influence cloud properties and precipitation. The wide-ranging effects of atmospheric aerosol particles are among the major uncertainties of climate research. Continuous observation and measurement are needed in order to understand how climate is changing. The relationship between aerosols and clouds brings forth the complexity of atmospheric phenomena.
Scientific data in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry (ACES) - Stockholm University, Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) - University of Helsinki and Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU).
Sound in collaboration with Tapio Viitasaari.
The installation is commissioned by The City of Jönköping and curated by Filip Zezovski Lind.