“In the Time of Clouds: Materializing Data for a Speculative Future” presented by Huang


Presentation Title:

  • In the Time of Clouds: Materializing Data for a Speculative Future



  • In the Time of Clouds is a mixed-media installation that utilizes the networked “cloud” to explore our collective sensorial relationship to the sky. The project responds to a February 2019 Nature Geoscience article that speculates about rising carbon dioxide levels leading to a possible future without clouds. The project attempts to archive these ephemeral forms and document their influence on our collective imagination before they disappear from our atmosphere forever. Utilizing both social media discourse about clouds and live video streams from public observatory cameras, the project amalgamates linguistic and visual data, mining this data to create an atmospheric triptych of poetry, ice cream, and ceramics.

    The installation is composed of three intertwined parts: Part I (The Observatories), a series of videos that combine algorithmically generated poems and livestreams from networked observatory webcams; Part II (Terracotta Clouds), a collection of handbuilt dessert wares based on unique cloud forms culled from the videos; and Part III (Cloud Ice Cream), an ice cream whose flavor profile is derived from social media discourse speculating about the taste of clouds, a “cloud ice cream.”