Good Thinking

Artist creates stunning indoor clouds

Artist creates stunning indoor...
Nimbus II by Berndnaut Smilde, created using a smoke machine and closely controlling the atmospheric and lighting conditions in the room (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
Nimbus II by Berndnaut Smilde, created using a smoke machine and closely controlling the atmospheric and lighting conditions in the room (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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The original Nimbus project, from 2010 (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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The original Nimbus project, from 2010 (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
The original Nimbus project, from 2010 (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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The original Nimbus project, from 2010 (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
Nimbus II by Berndnaut Smilde, created using a smoke machine and closely controlling the atmospheric and lighting conditions in the room (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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Nimbus II by Berndnaut Smilde, created using a smoke machine and closely controlling the atmospheric and lighting conditions in the room (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
In what Smilde describes as a related project, the Aerogel (or "frozen smoke") apparently consists of 99.8% air (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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In what Smilde describes as a related project, the Aerogel (or "frozen smoke") apparently consists of 99.8% air (Photo: Berndnaut Smilde)
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Artist Berndnaut Smilde may use simple smoke machines to create his indoor cloudworks, but to achieve such dramatic results requires meticulous experimentation with both lighting and interior atmospheric conditions.

"I wanted to make the image of a typical Dutch raincloud inside a space," Smilde told Gizmag. "I'm interested in the ephemeral aspect of the work. It's there for a brief moment and then the cloud falls apart. The work only exists as a photograph."

The dramatic effect is achieved by backlighting the cloud which creates shadows within, Smilde explained. It's these shadows that lend the cloud the forbidding aspect of a raincloud.

Combined with the empty, almost austere interiors selected by Smilde, as well as the sheer oddity of the sight of a cloud suspended indoors, the clouds give the photographs an unsettling (almost ghostly) yet simultaneously serene, ethereal quality.

But how does Smilde get the cloud to hang around long enough to hide the smoke machine and compose the shot? "By moistening the air you can shape and keep the cloud from falling apart directly as the moist sticks to it making the smoke heavier," Smilde explains. "Also when the space is really cold it prevents the smoke from rising too quickly. Basically that's it, and of course a lot of practice."

Source: Berndnaut Smilde via Architizer

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4 comments
David Whyte
Are you kidding Gizmag!!Really?An "artist"creating clouds!!I could do the same when I smoked 20 a day!!
3razer
And what do we do with this cloud now. I mean it looks all nice and stuff but what next?
pointyup
I saw man made clouds at a steel works. They dumped water on molten metal and made clouds that rained only 200 metres away.
Phillip Bailey
Maybe you three could do well reading Lawrence Weschler's: 'Seeing Is Forgetting the name of the thing on sees'! Or ANY TEXT ON CONCEPTUAL ART.