billows

 part of the Strange Skies group show
with Dawn Contemporary on Alba.art

“Billowy bodies with celestial impressions heaping onto one another; spreading, shifting, drifting.” from ‘A Meditation on the Endless Appeal of Clouds in Art’ by Charmaine Li

I am tracing a peculiar connection between various latent states and billowing bodies; between the figures we see in clouds and pseudo-random configurations we recognize as clouds.

Although algorithms in generative art lend themselves to creating an infinite variety of latent images, latent images are more commonly associated with film development in analog photography as an “invisible configuration of silver halide crystals on a piece of film after exposure to image-bearing focused light” — when the image has been exposed, but not yet revealed.

Through that process, condensation forms tiny specs of silver atoms on an exposure, which are observed after processing as film grain, and resemble a vast population of tiny cirrocumulus clouds. On the opposite end of the spectrum, different kinds of condensation similarly contribute to the formation of clouds in the sky. These formations, in contrast with a stabilized, finished photograph, remain impermanent and beyond our control. The only thing we can do is endlessly project our gaze, thoughts, and interpretations onto them.

Recognizing embedded images in the clouds can be explained as a byproduct of our brains processing visual data. In the generative setting of this project, Billows, basic geometric shapes combine to form a vast array of fantastical creations: croissants, radishes, egg white floaters in yellow cream (œufs à la neige, Schneenockerl or šnenokle) if we are famished, or otherwise various billowy beings and cartoonish, stylized clouds. Constantly changing and adapting to whatever the spectator wants them to be, clouds continue to astound not just artists, but everyone willing to simply look up and dream.