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Human Clouds

By Tina-Marie Friedrich

Early in the morning the sky was cloudy. At ten o’clock it cleared up and the sun came out. It is still shining.

Joana Cortes “from the air around you” talks about the community of microbes. She has been experimenting with making sourdough for six years: water, flour and microorganisms that are in the air, on our hands and everywhere. For them to thrive, they need to be fed and cared for. They also nourish each other with their excrements. The bread we tasted at the opening was made from dough that had been matured for ten days and was very tasty. Joana comes from philosophy, she has studied the microbes of her sourdough together with chemists, and one result is now shown here in an art context.

The Kilottaa Collective has hung large curtains in the trees to fish “transcendent messages” out of the air. Mia Mäkinen says that when they were setting up, the birch tree threw branches at them. She asked the tree if it didn’t like the art. Later, she realised that the tree had possibly warned her. Because the wind got so strong that they had to roll up the textiles to protect them. When Elsa Häkkinen works alone, she embroiders in cross-stitch “activity signs”. As an example, she shows us a pink vulva with yellow sun rays. She does not want gender to be thought of only in binary terms.

Filips Stanislavskis’ work is “Human Cloud Project”. Through his involvement with geoengineering, Filips came up with the idea of building his own machine that produces clouds from the liquids of people’s collected breath. Even thousands of his cloud machines would not influence the climate in any way, because our breath enters the atmosphere anyway. We are part of a very complex system.

Inari Virmakoski “Climate Nets” aka “Air Nets” She learned to appreciate the material for her work, gauze, in Tanzania. It protected her from mosquitoes and she saw how wonderfully light it moved in the wind. She lived there with a view of Mount Kilimanjaro, which showed her the weather every morning: sometimes it was clearly visible, sometimes it was covered in clouds. During her life in the desert, she washed herself with sand, grateful to her fellow human beings who, with their experience, made it possible for her to survive in the desert.

This post is also available in: German