CLOUD began as a large-scale interactive sculpture created from 6,000 light bulbs by Canadian artists Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett. The piece utilizes everyday domestic light bulbs and pull strings, re-imagining their potential to create wonder and inspire collaboration. As part of the process of creating the sculpture, the artists collected burnt out incandescent light bulbs from the surrounding community, forging an informal relationship with non-artists, reducing costs, and asking audiences to reconsider household items in an alternative context. During exhibition, viewers interact with CLOUD by initiating impromptu collaborations, working as a collective to turn the entire sculpture on and off.
Editions of CLOUD have appeared at Nuit Blanche Calgary (Canada), Garage Center for Contemporary Culture as the centerpiece of Art Experiment 2013 (Moscow, Russia), Signal Festival of Light (Prague, Czech Republic), and GLOW Forum of Light & Architecture (Eindhoven, Netherlands). In 2013, CLOUD was short-listed for an Innovation by Design Awards in New York City. CLOUD’s next appearance will be in Singapore as part of I Light Marina Bay festival of light (March 2014).
A third evolution of the sculpture was created in June 2013 in Chicago, USA. Entitled CLOUD CEILING, this rendition is a permanent installation (sans pull-chains) in Progress Bar, utilizing motion sensors and over 15,000 light bulbs.
How CLOUD works: The hand-bent steel substructure of the sculpture is covered in a skin of incandescent light bulbs (new and burnt out), and rear-lit from within by 250 compact fluorescent bulbs, pulling a total power of approximately 20 amps (the equivalent of two household outlets). Each of these bulbs is attached to a pull-string, allowing viewers to control the illumination of the structure – like lightning in the CLOUD above them.
Sponsors of the FIRST EDITION of CLOUD: Alberta College of Art + Design, The Nuit Blanche Foundation, The City of Calgary, Calgary Arts Development Authority, Calgary Public Arts, Calgary 2012, and The Awesome Foundation (Calgary chapter).
Sponsors of the SECOND EDITION of CLOUD: Garage Center for Contemporary Culture and Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Thank you to Alberta College of Arts + Design and Wayne Baerwaldt or ongoing support.
Commissioner of CLOUD CEILING: Progress Bar, Chicago. Thank you to the amazing Progress Bar team for entertainment, many hands, and amazing donuts!
CLOUD Interactions: Audiences are invited to interact with CLOUD through simple participation: ON, OFF, PULL. The piece utilizes familiar domestic objects (everyday light bulbs and pull strings), functional items commonly known and understood. And yet, CLOUD’s form and brilliance appear to strike the viewer on a more internal level, allowing them to loiter happily, mesmerized by the glow of the bulbs above them. Sporadic collaborations occur as audiences struggle to turn off and on the entire sculpture at once. Participating with CLOUD is a collective activity.