Clouds

“Anything, in a way, is a cloud.”

Michel  Serres
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As Vilém Flusser points out, clouds are transient formless fields of possibilities from which new information can emerge. In this sense, they represent one of the central metaphors for present day global society. The internet is a gigantic cloud and the growing importance of the new technology of cloud computing is everywhere to be seen. The cloud is, furthermore, an eminently interdisciplinary phenomenon which has attracted the interest of all those working on theoretical borders. Possible project for the future: Eine Poetologie des Wolkigen – A poetics of the cloud – taking up some of the loose threads of Die Sprache des Himmels. Eine Geschichte der Wolken (2006) and „Wolkenformationen […] aus dem Dunst der Möglichkeiten. Zur nubigenen Einbildungskraft (2009).

 

Bild 23                                                                                               John Constable, Cloud Study

 Books

„Wolkenformationen […] aus dem Dunst der Möglichkeiten. Zur nubigenen Einbildungskraft, Flusser Lecture, Walther König, Cologne 2009.

Die Sprache des Himmels. Eine Geschichte der Wolken, Kadmos, Berlin 2006.

Review Die Sprache des Himmels (in German) / Review – Die Sprache des Himmels (in Italian)

Articles and Book Chapters

4. Skyscapes. O papel das nuvens na formação das paisagens, in: Filosofia e Arquitectura da Paisagem, ed. by Adriana Veríssimo Serrão, Lisboa 2013, p. 117-129.

3. “Luftschaften”. Zur Rolle der Wolken in der Konstitution von Landschaften, in: Landschaft quer denken: Theorie – Bilder – Formationen, ed. by Stefanie Krebs and Manfred Seifert, Leipzig 2012, p. 127-144

2. Le nuvole, in Newsletter n. 3, Summer 2005, Università Cattolica di Milano, Dipartimento di Sociologia: Gruppo interstizi e Intersezioni

1. Windschiffe: Die Wolke als Fahrzeug und Bühnenrequisit; in: Wolkenbilder. Die Erfindung des Himmels, ed. byp. Kunz, J. Stückelberger and B. Wismer, 2005, p. 39-42.

 

Bild 6 Goethe                                                                              W. von Goethe, Cirro Stratus

Conference Presentations

9. Wind und Wolke. Überlegungen zur (Un)Sichtbarkeit, Kunsthistorisches Seminar, Universität Zürich, 29. Oktober 2013.

8. „Anything, in a way, is a cloud.“ Reflections on a phenomenon at the intersection of philosophy, art and science, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, 18th June 2012:

„Clouds can be seen as border-posts separating two distinct domains of reality or as self-generating significant shapes. Two radically different forms of dealing with the phenomenon can be deduced from this. On the one hand, there is the logic of the veil, of covering and uncovering. One can plunge into the mist or emerge from a sea of fog. In this specific case, clouds do not play the predominant role, but point to something more essential hiding behind them. This conception is mostly associated with stratus formations, with altostratus, cirrostratus and stratocumulus. On the other hand, there is the logic of projection and emergence. One can discover shapes in shapelessness, structures in the transitory and fleeting; and one can witness the surfacing of meaningful figures from amorphous masses of clouds. In this second conception – mostly connected with the bizarre outlines and numerous protuberances of the cumulus, altocumulus and stormy cumulonimbus – clouds are swarms, collectives without a center, developing according to an autopoietic principle.“ Guldin-Anything-in-a-way-is-a-cloud

7. Skyscapes: The Role of Clouds in the Constitution of Landscapes, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa, 20th May 2011.

6.” … und über uns ein Meer aus Zeichen” Das Geheimnis der Wolken, Commerzbank, Frankfurt am Main: Hagen Bonifer (14th January 2010): Hagen Bonifer Über uns ein Meer aus Zeichen

5. „Luftschaften“. Zur Rolle der Wolken in der Konstitution von Landschaften, Landschaft quer Denken. Theorie – Bilder – Formationen, 17th – 19th September 2009, Tagung des Instituts für Sächsische Geschichte und Volkskunde in Dresden und des interdisziplinären Arbeitskreises Landschaftstheorie (18th September 2009).

4. ‚Jedes Ding ist auf seine Art eine Wolke’: Überlegungen zu einem Grenzgebiet von Kunst und Wissenschaft, Geographisches Institut, Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz (16th January 2009).

3. “Upon the wings of the Wind”: Clouds as Means of Transportation, University of Connecticut USA (26th March 2008): Upon the Wings of the Wind

2. „Wolkenformationen […] aus dem Dunst der Möglichkeiten. Zur nubigenen Einbildungskraft, Universität der Künste Berlin, Flusser Lecture (17th January 2008).

1. Wolkenmixtur lernet der Himmel. Zur Geschichte der Wolkendarstellung in der abendländischen Kunst, Kunsthistorisches Seminar, Universität Basel, 14th February 2007.