The Dutch artist can turn a clear sky cloudy — indoors. In his latest project, he’s installed real Nimbus clouds in empty gallery spaces in Amsterdam.
Smilde’s godlike powers come from simple science — he carefully regulates the temperature and humidity of the space, ensuring that conditions are perfect. Then, he sprays a short burst from a fog machine to create a cottony cloud suspended in the middle of the room for just an instant before it collapses.
“I’m interested in the ephemeral aspect of the work,” Smilde said in an e-mail. “It’s there for a brief moment and then the cloud falls apart. It’s about the potential of the idea, but in the end it will never function.”