Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Captured Clouds

Nimbus D'Aspremond, 2012

Nimbus, 2010
Nimbus II, 2012

After seeing Chika Matsuda's Captured Cloud here a couple of days ago, my daughter pointed me toward another cloud artist. Inside empty gallery spaces, Berndnaut Smilde of the Netherlands creates clouds for real. Over the past couple of years he appears to have refined and perfected the process, using a fog machine synched with precise temperature and humidity controls and elaborate lighting effects. Art consumers like you and me, however, can never hope to see an actual specimen of the clouds whose images appear above. In practice, they dissipate almost immediately. The works of art as viewed by the public are the pictures (or videos) taken of the clouds during their momentary existence. Yet Smilde (in classic conceptualist mode) does not make the photographs himself. For the 2012 works, his web site credits professional photographer Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk. All the same, I get the definite impression that Smilde is to be regarded as sole creator, with the photographer occupying something like the role of hired technician (his name not even mentioned in any of the dozen or so blog reports I looked at concerning this of-the-moment art-phenomenon).