Monday 19 May 2014, ‘Clouds: Objects, Metaphor, Phenomena’

Panel discussion with Vladimir Jankovic (Manchester), Richard Hamblyn (Birkbeck), and Esther Leslie (Birkbeck).

Listen to Emily Senior’s introduction below:

Vladimir Jankovic (Manchester)

‘Cloud Design (with thoughts on cloud Dasein).’ Do manufactured clouds count? How to think cloud-seeding, rain-making, hail-fighting, and fog-clearing? How to grasp industrial cumuli, urban thunderstorms, pre-fab clouds, and condensation trails? What does it take to admire the nuclear mushroom?

Listen to Vladimir Jankovic’s talk below:

Richard Hamblyn (Birkbeck)

The Brocken Spectre is a vision in which the observer’s own shadow appears distorted and enlarged on low cloud or mist; it was first observed on the Brocken Peak in Germany, which Coleridge and many others climbed in pursuit of the apparition. The unsettling feature of the Spectre is that you can only see your own projection: three climbers standing alongside one another would each only see one figure (their own cloudy alter ego). For Thomas de Quincey, the Spectre was ‘but a reflex of yourself; and, in uttering your secret feelings to him, you make this phantom the dark symbolic mirror for reflecting to the daylight what else must be hidden.’ Has cloud computing (‘a cloud of your own’) extended this metaphor of a cloud as a kind of sanctuary of the self, a solitary space in which to commune with your secrets?

Listen to Richard Hamblyn’s talk below:

Esther Leslie (Birkbeck)

Theory of Clouds/Clouds of Theory: – from one to the other. In the first clause, the implications of clouds – be they of water vapour or of data – are considered as mappable forms, as ecological questions, and as questions of the common and commons. In the second, the accent is on the demands and possibilities of complexity, questions of theory and obscurity, knowledge-sharing and the mobility of thought.

Listen to Esther Leslie’s talk below:

This event was part of Birkbeck Arts Week 2014

sitemanagerMonday 19 May 2014, ‘Clouds: Objects, Metaphor, Phenomena’

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