Saturday, November 04, 2017


21st Century Cloud Fantasy Oil on canvas 67 76 cm 2017

Regular readers will know that 21st Century Cloud Fantasy relates to contemporary surveillance in the broadest sense - visual surveillance, data collection and mining, online behaviour monitoring, physical tracking and so on. It also relates to the way I attempt to turn the surveillance back upon itself, by placing the viewer in multiple orientations, even simultaneously. Like with many of my paintings over the years, 21st Century Cloud Fantasy takes a cosmic perspective which has the ability to oscillate at multiple close and far distances. Cosmology, the scientific study of the universe across all spatial and temporal scales, informs my visual oscillation. 

For example, are you looking down, as if gazing at something microscopically, but enlarged by some kind of vision device. Or, are you looking up into an endless sky? Or, are you Voyager 1 with its camera turned back towards Earth - like it did in February 1990 as it left the solar system - one last photo Pale Blue Dot before its camera was turned off, and it embarked on its continuing interstellar journey. Are you being propelled away from the pale blue dot, or are you falling towards it?

But, I was thinking of more! 

Clouds have featured a fair bit in my recent paintings. But, whilst they look like atmospheric clouds, I am playing with the idea of The Cloud ie: multiple servers designed to store computer generated information and data in ways where it is retrievable by possibly an array of systems or people. Is anything secure? 

There were so many thoughts going through my head when I painted 21st Century Cloud Fantasy. The choice of colours is deliberate, the targeting appearance is also, as is the positioning of radiating lines with the fluffiness of the clouds. I'll let you think about the painting. However, you might like to read some of my previous posts, where I position militarised systems, like airborne drones - with clouds!

Oh - and - yes, this painting is also a continuation of my attempt to renegotiate what landscape means in the 21st century. A century where the real and the virtual collide - and - where at the same time as humanity has succeeded in sending human-made technology into interstellar space, we also have people in conflict zones who are afraid of the sky - a droned sky. 


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