Clouds :: Knowledge

An ongoing project, Clouds :: Knowledge investigates the visual imagery of sky and clouds as a symbol of knowledge and epistemology in contemporary life.

BACKGROUND

One day, I was sitting at a coffee shop with an artist friend and trying to remember the name of this other artist. I picked up my iPhone and started to Google descriptions of his artwork in the hope that I would stumble across an image of his work and thus be reminded of his name. I have an awful memory. I often get up from my desk to get a cup of coffee and forget why I got up before I make it to the kitchen. Some days, the more things I learn, the dumber I feel. But we live at a time when all the knowledge of the world is carried on our person, in a little box. Of course, it is not all in the box. Knowledge exists in the cloud of the Internet which is really just a system of computer networks that are linked together, but are ultimately out of sight and out of mind. But it isn’t really. Signs of the Internet are everywhere. You see signs advertising wi-fi on the door of a café or people using smart phones or web links printed in the visual patter of the city. We are constantly reminded that this cloud of knowledge is nearby.

Philosophers of epistemology suggest two types of knowledge: a priori knowledge which is independent of experience and a posteriori knowledge which is dependent on empirical evidence or experience. I wanted to imagine a third type of knowledge: a cumulus knowledge which hovers over your head or sits on your shelf waiting for you to use it.

MANIFESTATION

Clouds :: Knowledge exists as the installation/performance piece, All My Thoughts Are in the Air; the sculptural object All My Knowledge Lives in a Box; and the paper sculpture cum art product, Knowledge Cloud, which reinterprets the idea as a print and mini-cloud sculpture that unfolds as a free standing pop-up, and collage prints.

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