Year of Creation: 2010
Technique/Materials: Dry Ice, isopropyl alcohol, glass box (12”x 12” x 12”), springs, Lekolite reflector light
Dimensions: 52inch x 12inch x 12inch. Minimum room space for full installation 9ft x 9ft
The Origin of Clouds derives from an experiment to study the formation of clouds that appeared within the larger context of weather phenomena research at the end of the nineteenth century. The Cloud Chamber or Camera Nebulosa was originally built to create artificial clouds in the laboratory and investigate their emergence in the atmosphere. The experiment failed in explaining this phenomenon and was never able to provide a better understanding of clouds, storms or lighting. However, the Camera Nebulosa made an unexpected discovery by enabling the visualization of fundamental particles for the first time. This “accident” became the visual proof of the existence of the sub atomic world and had a profound influence in the research of atomic energy.
The experiment recreated in The Origin of Clouds uses saturated fumes of isopropyl alcohol that lied over a frozen plate inside a sealed glass chamber. The alcohol forms a thing layer over the cooled surface, and with the help of a strong source of light, different elemental particles start to emerge. These particles – muons and electrons – are a consequence of Cosmic Rays originating in the sun and outside the solar system. The average speed of these particles is 299.400 km/s (approximately the speed of light).
The Origin of Clouds utilizes the elemental components of matter as the main material for the creation of the work, and documents the process by which this abstract and ineffable phenomenon becomes form and materiality. The visual result is an ever-changing flux of ephemeral shapes with an unpredictable behavior and variable rhythm. The chaotic and ephemeral nature of this work emphasizes the phenomenon’s organizational logic in space and time.