Friday, January 05, 2024


 The Cloud is Not a Cloud gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2024

The Cloud - Swarm?
With The Cloud is Not a Cloud I wanted to pose questions about the contemporary 'Cloud' as a weaponisable and weaponised system. I was thinking about swarming technology, pondering whether the techno-Cloud, enabling complex arrays of services and capabilities, could be described as a dexterous swarm with both benign and malign latencies. However, is the techno-Cloud the swarm or the swarm enabler? Or maybe its a swarm that can spawn more swarms? The proliferation of misinformation, disinformation and fake news/images across social media is an example of this conception of swarming. 

While the techno-Cloud is underpinned by bricks and mortar, for example, buildings housing massive computer infrastructure, relay nodes dotted across the landscape and space, and other tangible devices, I am particularly interested in the invisible infrastructure. Here, I am referring to signals that ensure connectivity, interconnectivity and interoperability of devices and systems. 

Signals carrying codified data and instructions are visualised in The Cloud is Not a Cloud as lines connecting ambiguous looking shapes. Their multiple sharp edges could indicate a not-so-friendly environment, a protective stance, tactical readiness or strategic preparedness. Could The Cloud is Not a Cloud be a visualisation of military preparedness, geopolitical alignments, force posturing? Are we projecting onto the techno-Cloud fears of geo-political instability, and the type of war that needs no physical invasion? 

Red and White
I have used red and white to indicate potentialities, such as, attack, vulnerability, disguise, stealth, blood. I have deliberately implied that the colours could oscillate or merge, depending on politics, technological resilience, or non-resilience. Like many of my paintings, The Cloud is Not a Cloud can be viewed from multiple perspectives - from above, as if you are flying over the sea; from below, as if you are peering through 'clouds' to a blue sky; in front of or behind, as if you are about to walk into a spider's web...

As always, there's a lot more to think about. But, I will leave it to you now...


Previous Posts of Interest.
The Cloud is Not a Cloud visually references some other recent paintings where I have painted odd patterns that echo the shapes of airborne drones, munitions, debris. You can see these paintings on these blog links Force MultiplicationGhost Sky, and Ghost Shadows.

Since 2015 I have painted many paintings that refer to the techno-Cloud. You can search my BLOG by typing the word 'cloud' in the top left box above Art @ Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox or in the 'Search this Blog' box on the right of the post.


I am very happy to report that I am now a Dr. 
My PhD was conferred by Curtin University, Western Australia on the 1st December. 

You can access my PhD thesis: 
Drones, Signals, and the techno-Colonisation of Landscape
at Curtin's espace 


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