Clouds draw the eye upward, and when we look up—we lose ourselves. We all see things in clouds: shapes, a thought, or even a mood. Their unique ability to fully captivate while simultaneously liberating us to freely contemplate is what gave clouds such cherished status with the artists’ of the 19th century. Today, we speak of clouds in less romantic terms—computational efficiency, remote and unseen data centers. While the constant humming and crunching of networked servers is no doubt a marvel, their reality shares little with the poetic or picturesque. Commonplace Studio’s light installation proposes an alternate version of cloud computing, one that celebrates fluid forms, color, movement, and the dynamics of space. For whatever meaning we project on the sky, this light installation simply reminds us that having our head in the clouds is truly a beautiful thing.
Consisting of twenty-eight pendant lamps suspended in space, the installation creates a recognizable cloud-like form despite its seemingly random formation. Like a cloud the volume changes from vantage point to vantage point. The view from under reveals moving images of various skies—from the serene to the sublime—that project onto the inner surface of each bulb. Powered by a network of custom built micro- projectors embedded within each lamp fixture, the lights orchestrate into a meteorological spectacle. With storms forming and dissipating on the clock, one can take solace in the saying, “if you don’t like the weather....just wait a few minutes.”
Cloud is a special commission for Design Days Dubai. While the Emirates may be better known for cloud seeding than cloud spotting, thick blankets of fog often cover the country, turning places like Dubai into a cloud city. This light installation, which serves as a new medium to meet, discuss, or to dream, has been principally inspired by the local weather phenomenon. The difference between this low-hanging cloud and the one that envelopes Dubai is that, here, the views are just as magical from below.