VISION: Cloud Clouds (The Treachery of Images)

Cloud Clouds (2014)

Inspired by the Magritte painting "The Treachery of Images" (inscribed with the phrase "Ce n'est pas une pipe") was one the first attempts to express the distinction between images and reality.

Here, I'm interested in the idea of the augmented reality that we more frequently choose to experience through our smartphones: The numinous quality of clouds, reduced to execrable ("treacherous") QR codes used to see images of clouds in the network Cloud. The objects on the wall serve as reminder to experience the world without digital prostheses. After scanning the codes, one knows what images are inferred and the meaning they convey, which renders them temporary placeholders of images and the reality they represent.

The experience of art placed on the wall is a way to connect the art experience with reality, such that when you see interesting clouds, it reminds you to notice them more and perhaps learn about types of clouds, weather, climate, and a whole series of topics that clouds could evoke, as well as the implications of technology. Even worse, they also have circularity, such that clouds reminds us of QR codes.

After seeing the Magritte show at the Art Institute of Chicago, memories of the images within the paintings began to surface as I saw them in the world. For example, there were several paintings with pillar or column-shaped objects, that when I saw on a stairway railing, reminded me of the paintings. Surrealism was intimately connected with the unconscious mind expressed in dream images, and here they work in the same way as dreams do, surfacing in active memory at random moments.

When reality reminds you of works of art, then you know you've made a connection.