CLOUD EXTRACTS

Marie-Luce Nadal @ ZKM KARLSRUHE

Exhibition “NEGATIVE SPACE”

06.04.2019 – 11.08.2019

Cloud extracts by Marie-Luce Nadal merges science and art; reminding us of the medieval reliquaries that showed the precious bones of the saints

“Cloud extracts” are pieces of atmosphere captured thanks to “la Fabrique du vaporeux”. The transparent frame that houses it, a glass aquarium, is a landscape format whose thickness does not exceed that of a lightweight partition. 

Intended to be installed indoors, this void is a window in which an internal life evolves with the moods of the building that hosts it.

Captive, a cloud appears and disappears at will.

The Extracts from Clouds of the World are shown, framed, according to a window: a “monstrance” like the medieval reliquaries that showed the precious bones of the saints. This window is of variable height and width, from 6 cm x 10 cm and up to 100 x 130 cm.

The window reveals the essence of the cloud, somehow cultivated in a test tube: a sterile environment.

The cloudy essence appears in the form of a scroll, at the Palais de Tokyo where 10 different vintages of cloud extracts were exposed, the spectator was invited to compare the different cloud essences of the world, that is to say the types or shapes of scrolls.

In order for a Cloud Extract to be born from cloud essence, this essence is no longer integrated into air, but into water. The dilution degree is 2%° (two per thousand), the water used is sterile and demineralised. At a temperature below 32°C, the cloud essence is evenly distributed in the water and totally invisible.

At a precise temperature of 32°C, this essence dissociates from the water. It forms thousands of small aggregates of pure essence, like hailstones without water, which allows light to be reflected, and the captive synthetic cloud to appear.

As soon as the temperature rises above 32°C again, the gasoline mixes with the water, and the captive synthetic cloud disappears before our eyes. The process is of course reversible at will.A physicist could point out that the chemistry causing the captive synthetic cloud is the opposite of that of the clouds in the sky. However, on the negative side, the process remains structurally identical.