[ISEA2020] Artist Statement: Sue Huang — In the Time of Clouds

Artist Statement

Tags: Ceramics, Clouds, Collective Imagination, Mixed-Media Installation, Social Media

In the Time of Clouds is a mixed-media installation that utilizes the networked “cloud” to explore our collective sensorial relationship to the sky. The project responds to a February 2019 Nature Geoscience article that speculates about rising carbon dioxide levels leading to a possible future without clouds. The project attempts to archive these ephemeral forms and document their influence on our collective imagination before they disappear from our atmosphere forever. Utilizing both social media discourse about clouds and live video streams from public observatory cameras, the project amalgamates linguistic and visual data, mining this data to create an atmospheric triptych of poetry, ice cream, and ceramics.

The installation is composed of three intertwined parts: Part I (The Observatories), a series of videos that combine algorithmically generated poems and livestreams from networked observatory webcams; Part II (Terracotta Clouds), a collection of handbuilt dessert wares based on unique cloud forms culled from the videos; and Part III (Cloud Ice Cream), an ice cream whose flavor profile is derived from social media discourse speculating about the taste of clouds, a “cloud ice cream”. sue-huang.com/#/in-the-time-of-clouds

  • Sue Huang is an artist working at the intersections of new media, installation, and social practice. Her current work investigates our complex techno-cultural relationships to nature, exploring the ways that tactile, sensorial experiences are mediated through emerging technologies. Her past works have been presented at national and international venues, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA; the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria; Kulturhuset in Stockholm, Sweden; the Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine, California, USA; and A.P.E. Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts, USA. Huang received her MFA in Media Arts at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA and her BS in Science, Technology, and International Affairs from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is a co-founder of the media arts collaborative Knifeandfork and an assistant professor of Digital Media and Design at the University of Connecticut, USA. sue-huang.com