Stormy Weather
24.09.2020—21.11.2020, Kunstraum Niederoesterreich, Vienna
(c) Fragmentin, Your phone needs to cool down, 2019

“Today the cloud is the central metaphor of the internet: a global system of great power and energy that nevertheless retains the aura of something monumental and numinous, something almost impossible to grasp. We connect to the cloud; we work in it; we store and retrieve stuff from it; we think through it.” (James Bridle)

In the months leading up to November 2020, a fateful point in time for world politics as Donald Trump stands for re-election, there will likely be less talk explicitly about the weather. The emotionally charged macro-political climate is unimaginable without today’s technological developments. Both the metaphor and the reality of the “cloud” are omnipresent in our daily lives. It is not only the place where data are stored but also – by cloud computing, cloud gaming, or cloud streaming – the place where the central functions of computational power and auto-learning artificial intelligence have migrated to. The cloud is not a storage folder – it is our super brain.

The metaphoric imagery of the cloud makes us think of something fleeting; our data become zeros and ones floating across the sky, carried weightlessly by the wind. In reality, these ephemeral visions of data clouds require infrastructures, which are operated (and controlled) by private companies and, at the same time, have direct impacts on the real climate. Hence, talking about clouds, the weather, and weather metaphors is quite topical, and, in the near future, they will not only be subjects of unmotivated small talk. The exhibition Stormy Weather showcases works that survey the field between seemingly ephemeral infrastructures (data clouds) and their concrete manifestations in the real world. How do artists interact with the non-human counterpart, the cloud? Do metaphors or the realities of the cloud become affective carriers themselves in their artistic reception?

Artists: Susanna Flock & Leonhard Müllner, Fragmentin (David Colombini, Marc Dubois and Laura Perrenoud), Stefan Karrer, Till Langschied, Marc Lee, Yein Lee, Christiane Peschek, Total Refusal (Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner and Michael Stumpf), Christoph Wachter & Mathias Jud

Curators: Katharina Brandl & Claire Hoffmann

The realization of the exhibition is kindly supported by Pro Helvetia, Schweizer Kulturstiftung, Abteilung Kultur Basel-Stadt, BMEIA Federal Ministry Republic of Austria for European and International Affairs and forum culturel autrichien Paris.

Listen to the review in Ö1 Kulturjournal (German)