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) and Garage Center for Contemporary Culture as the centerpiece of Art Experiment 2013 (Moscow, Russia). 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.
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.
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