Amsterdam-based artist Berndnaut Smilde creates temporary sculptures that exist for just 10 seconds. Thankfully the photographs of the indoor clouds exist for much longer, evoking the strange ethereal sensation that can only be achieved by such an unlikely image.
The series titled ‘Nimbus’ uses just smoke and water-vapor in a space where conditions are just right for cloud making—cold, damp, and no air circulation. Each space requires a slightly different formula to get an ideal cloud form, and the artist creates about 100 clouds in order for his collaborating photographer to capture just the right shot.
“I see them as temporary sculptures of almost nothing—the edge of materiality,” said the artist. “It looks like you can dive into them or grab them, but they just fall apart. There’s a duality that I really like where you’re trying to achieve this ideal thing that then collapses just moments later.”